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20 Questions with Head Coach Joe Spallina

December 8, 2016
New York Lizards Head Coach and General Manager Joe Spallina wears many hats – his role on the Lizards, his Head Coach position for the StonyBrook Women’s Lacrosse team, Coach of Team 91 Lacrosse, and the father of five children. Most recently, Coach Spallina has been making big moves in the MLL world, trading away JoJo Marasco, only to acquire top league attackman Joe Walters weeks later.

Next week, Spallina will head into his first round of preparation for the MLL Supplemental Draft ahead of his seventh season as Head Coach of New York. We thought this the perfect opportunity to open up the floor to fan questions.

The fan questions and Joe’s answers are below:

1. Who are the other MLL players that you are looking to obtain for your roster? – Submitted by Jonathan R. 
JS: My focus right now is finding the best players that fit our roster after obtaining Joe Walters. Now, our primary focus turns to the defensive side of the ball.

2. What's your best moment coaching? – Submitted by Cameron B.
JS: The 2015 MLL CHAMPIONSHIP was my best MLL coaching moment!

3. When did you started playing lacrosse? – Submitted by Michaela S. 
JS: I started playing in 7th grade. The lacrosse landscape was much different than it is now; my brothers and I played hockey at the time.

4. How do you split your time with your college coaching responsibilities, NY Lizards and club lacrosse responsibilities and then family? Doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day for you. – Submitted by Jayms M. 
JS: I will start off by saying it is NOT easy. That being said, I wouldn't trade it for the world.  The good thing for me is I am the head coach of all the teams, so I dictate the schedule.  One thing I live by though is Family First!

5. Favorite Sport after lacrosse? – Submitted by Eric R. 
JS: That's a tough one between football and hockey. 

6. Who are your teams? MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL? – Submitted by Alex T. 
JS: Yankees, Giants, Knicks and Islanders.

7. Any picks in mind for the draft next week? – Submitted by Stevie K. 
JS: We have some guys targeted, but when you do not pick at the top you have to have many options. 

8. Best piece of coaching advice you can give to a fellow coach for a youth team? – Submitted by Christopher V. 
JS: The advice to coaching youth is keeping the bar high and showing them you care. Once they know you care, the sky's the limit.

9. Hardest part about coaching in the MLL? – Submitted by Zach C. 
JS: Lack of practice time is the biggest thing.

10. If you could change one rule in the MLL, what would it be? – Submitted by Austin H. 
JS: I love all the rules, just wish game day rosters were bigger than 19.

11. Love what you've done with this team! Any tips for a player looking to go pro, play under you one day? – Submitted by Mike W. 
JS: Work ethic and lacrosse IQ. The way the league has evolved all you need is a chance. 

12. What's it like to coach your brother? – Submitted by Sierra P.
JS: The biggest thing for us is when we step on the field it is a coach-player dynamic.  It’s great, as he has had one of the most storied careers in the history of the league.  I'd be lying if I said we don't talk MLL at family BBQ's.

13. How did you get into lacrosse? – Submitted by Ryan T. 
JS: Friend of mine in 7th grade suggested I give it a try because I was a hockey player. The rest is history. 

14. Which team are you always nervous to go up against? – Submitted by Olivia P. 
JS: I can honestly say with there only being 9 teams in the league that EVERY team is a major challenge, so they all make me nervous.  Let's just say I don't sleep well the night before games.

15. If you were stranded on an island and could take 5 things, what would they be? – Submitted by Mark R. 
JS: My kids! But in the spirit of the question, fishing pole, tent, water, and a knife. 

16. Pancakes or waffles? – Submitted by Scott H. 
JS: Pancakes

17. What were you feeling immediately after the Walters trade went through? – Submitted by Dana S. 
JS: The Walters move has SO many layers to it.  We needed to make a trade to get a draft pick. Once we had the pick we knew that could turn into acquiring Joe. We also knew we needed to structure Joe’s contract. Once we got it done we were SO fired up. He's a tremendous talent and teammate.

18. Best advice your mom ever gave you? – Submitted by Emmett C. 
JS: Be a good teammate. 

19. Do your kids all aspire to play in the MLL? – Submitted by Jeremy T. 
JS: They really do! They have all grown up around the MLL game and players. They know the players and the players know them!

20. Favorite quote? – Submitted by Shannon P. 
JS: Energy and persistence conquer ALL things. 

We appreciate the great questions from our fans as well as Coach Spallina for his answers! To send in your questions for players in weeks ahead, give a follow to the New York Lizards on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (@nylizards). Use our hashtag, #20QTuesday, to stay connected and to join in the fun!

Looking for great holiday gifts for family or friends? New York Lizards Season Tickets and Holiday Bundles are now available. For more information, call 1-855-NYLizards.