Joe Breschi: Family,With a Touch
When Joe Breschi ’ 90 talks about lacrosse, the conversation inevitably turns to family. He
talks about the importance of his own family as well as the sense of family he hopes
runs through the Carolina lacrosse team he
coaches. He talks about the pride and
pleasure he gets from being part of the
larger Carolina community.
Much of it can be traced back to a family member Breschi lost in 2004.
He was head lacrosse coach at Ohio
State University at the time. He had moved
there in 1998 after a successful run as assistant head coach at Brown. Lacrosse was in
its infancy then at Ohio State. He coached
the Buckeyes to a conference championship in 2004 and their first victory in the
NCAA tournament. He and his family
were comfortable in Columbus.
“I loved the overall experience at Ohio
State,” Breschi said. “It was a great opportu-
nity to build the program to respectability.”
In 2004, he was forced to deal with a
fear shared by parents. His 3-year-old son,
Michael, was hit by a car in the parking lot
of his preschool. Michael’s death was devas-
tating, but it also reminded Breschi of the
importance of family. He and his wife,
Julie, have four daughters.
PEY TON WILLIAMS
“That helped shape who we are as a
family,” Breschi said. “People embraced us,
in lacrosse and at Ohio State. They were
there for my family.” He did not retreat
“He embraced the outpouring,” said
Jim Tressel, OSU’s football coach. “He
sought interaction with people who truly
cared about him. He didn’t carry a ‘feel
sorry for me, feel sorry for us’ attitude. He
constantly reminded himself about the few
good years he had with Mike. He was a
real pillar. I know it wasn’t easy.”
Breschi and his family were determined
to move forward in their lives. And they
had every reason to believe that would be
as part of the larger family at OSU.
Then Carolina came calling.
Breschi, who grew up in Baltimore, had
played lacrosse at Carolina from 1987 to
’ 90. He was a star for Coach Willie
Scroggs’ teams, earning first-team All-
senior year. He later was named to the
ACC’s 50th anniversary lacrosse team.
As if they were his sons
While Breschi may have created a sense
of family within the lacrosse team, he also
has brought a fierce competitiveness. Ryan
Flanagan, one of two senior co-captains,
says there wasn’t a culture of competition
before Breschi arrived, but the new coach
quickly let his team know that he was
going to push them harder than they had
been pushed before. Sometimes, that meant
practice at 5 a.m.
“Since Breschi has been here, the cool
thing to do is to work as hard as you can,”
Breschi said he got his competitiveness
from his older brother, who beat him in
Like a family: Breschi’s daughters Samantha, Abigail, Lucy and Emily join the lacrosse players
at a practice at the start of his first season at Carolina in 2009.