photo via the UT web site
In the latest chapter of Around The State, we excerpt the Tampa Bay Times article about the father-son team of Rory and Conor Whipple of the UT lacrosse team! This was published on 5/9/17, before the UT win over Lenoir-Rhyne.
TAMPA — University of Tampa senior lacrosse attacker Conor Whipple has treasured his time with the Spartans.
For the third time, he was selected Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year.
For the fourth straight year, he was named first-team all-SSC.
Last weekend, he graduated from UT with a bachelor’s degree in sports management.
Saturday afternoon, Whipple’s Spartans (14-4) open play in the NCAA Division II lacrosse tournament quarterfinal at Lenoir-Rhyne University (12-2). UT hopes to win the program’s first national championship after finishing as a semifinalist in 2014 and 2016.
But none of those lofty accomplishments can compare to the day-to-day relationship he has built with UT’s head coach, whether it was through a grinding practice, a bitter defeat or a thrilling victory.
Off the field, things change.
“Around the game, I call him, ‘Coach,’ ” Whipple said. “Any other time, I call him, ‘Dad.’ ”
At first, he was hesitant to play for his father, Rory Whipple, the all-time winningest lacrosse coach in Division II, who left Florida Southern six years ago to begin UT’s program.
Conor, who attended boarding school at St. Andrew’s in Boca Raton, set his sights on the powerful Division I program at Georgetown University. With his father’s blessing, he began a career with the Hoyas.
It lasted one semester.
“Georgetown was great academically and athletically, but I couldn’t get away from the fact that not everybody has the chance to have that special kind of experience and play for their father,” Conor said. “The University of Tampa is a great school and the lacrosse program had a lot to offer. It’s my dad. So I gave it a shot.”
In everyone’s estimation, it has worked perfectly.
“I think Conor is real happy, I know I’m real happy and, most importantly, my wife is real happy,” Rory said with a laugh. “Had he stayed at Georgetown, with my schedule and my wife’s schedule, I don’t know how often we would’ve seen him play.
Read the rest HERE