Day in the Life of QU’s men’s lacrosse coaches

The average day in the life of a Quincy University student consists of many different things. For all the athletes on campus, their day-to-day process could look much different than the day of a local commuter student or that of a student who attends the university online.

The typical day for a QU staff member looks very different compared to the days of the students.

Head coach of QU’s men’s lacrosse program, Eric Ruppel, and assistant coach Tim Madden shared their average day of what it is like to be a division two coach. 

Coaches and players gather prior to a team meeting

You might expect that since Ruppel and Madden coach the same team, their days would look quite similar. They share many of the same responsibilities and job obligations. However, it turns out their days are more different than you’d think.

7 A.M.- Assistant Coach Tim Madden starts his day with a cup of coffee every morning.

“A cup of coffee is a staple piece of my morning routine no matter what,” Madden said.

Madden isn’t a huge breakfast eater normally but when he does eat breakfast, two eggs, a piece of toast and jelly, and a glass of orange juice is the normal go-to breakfast for when he does choose to eat in the mornings. After finishing breakfast and getting himself ready for the day ahead, Madden leaves his off-campus apartment to travel on-site to QU. 

8 A.M.- The first place Madden can be seen around campus on an average day would be in the Student Success Center. Here Tim helps a few of his players with studying practices and tips to help them with their studies for classes, homework, quizzes or whatever else they need. If you need guidance and meeting with the teacher to help answer questions you might have but don’t effectively have them answered to your full understanding, Madden is the man for help in this situation.

9:30-10 A.M.- After ending the study hall time in the morning, Madden then puts his coaching hat on and gets to work in the coaching office. The first business aspect of his day as a coach is doing recruiting work. Watching film on players, breaking it down, calling players, scheduling campus visits and so much more goes on for Madden during this late morning time slot of the day. 

11:30 A.M.- Shifting from more of a recruiting point of view to a more team focused view, this is the part of coach Tim’s day where he does the same type of analytical things, but for the men’s team specifically. Watching practice film, game film, practice and game plan, making calls for travel accommodations and meal plans are all elements that can be apparent in the coach’s life all depending on the schedule for that specific week. 

12:30 P.M.- This is lunch time for the coaches. They don’t have a specific routine for lunch, sometimes they will eat at the cafeteria if they feel crunched on time, or they might even go out to enjoy a nice sit down meal. An ideal day for Madden around this time would be getting to hit golf balls at the driving range of the local Quincy Country Club golf course in town, or getting to go to the gym located on campus to just run around a little bit and put some shots up with a basketball.

“I love every part of my day, but some days things can get hectic. Just like they can in everyone’s lives, I feel that the players of sports somewhat have outlets to release stress or whatever it may be by getting to go to practice and physically and mentally readjust. Coaches need to be able to have that outlet as well and those are the two things I found I can enjoy the most and take a break from things when needed,” Madden said. 

3-4 P.M.- Depending on the day, which results in different start times for practices, this is the time in the coaches day where they show up to the field fully prepared and planned for practice. They then go out and execute that plan for an average two-hour long practice. 

6-7 P.M.- This is around the time when practice has concluded and all the players and coaches have returned back to their living spaces to go on with the evening as they please. After showering again and cleaning himself up a bit, Madden makes dinner for himself and enjoys some television or a movie.

8-9 P.M.- If any extra work such as recruiting or calls need to be made from earlier on in the day, it will get done during this time after Madden eats dinner.

9:30 P.M.- Madden’s day at this point has now wrapped up and this is when he gets ready for bed and prepares for a good night’s rest before getting up the next morning and doing it all again. 

Madden has a very intriguing daily life as a men’s lacrosse coach, and how his day compares to that of head coach Eric Ruppel is even more interesting. Both working towards the same shared goal as being coaches, but how they operate differently and the tasks they complete is another unique value to their daily lives. 

7:30-8 A.M.- Unlike Madden, Ruppel’s staple to starting a new day is by always enjoying breakfast. A normal breakfast meal for Ruppel looks like no coffee to avoid early morning caffeine, but a smoothie/shake that consists of a couple scoops of amazing greens, a load of frozen berries to counteract the terrible taste of amazing greens, and water. Simple yet effective in getting the morning boost that he needs to take on the day in front of him. 

9-10 A.M.- Now likewise with Madden, this is where Ruppel really begins his day as a lacrosse coach, starting with phone calls. Ruppel’s calls and conversations are usually with school athletic directors, other coaches, parents on game time info and notifying them about streaming services for them to watch their kids play, and recruits when applicable. “Truly and especially in season, I don’t have an average day as a head coach,” Ruppel said. 

11 A.M.- “Tim has more of a to-do-list of things to do throughout a regular day, my workday is much more operational based compared to his. Making sure that we have a time and place to practice, play games, equipment prep, game operations, and other things like that,” Ruppel added.

Around this time of the day Ruppel is engaged mainly in communicating with the other coaches of in-season sports to get the field and weight room time that is crucial to the team’s success.  

12:30 P.M.- This is the lunchtime for the coaches as previously mentioned. Ruppel also enjoys going to the golf course driving range and is an avid golfer in his free time. 

1-3/4 P.M.- This time is the few dead hours that the coaches have between their office work and practices and games when they are played. This is when the game operations, gameday prep (making sure everything is going according to plan), practices, weight lifting, and any other necessity the team needs happens. After all this, alongside Madden, Ruppel heads to practice well prepared and ready to run the offensive side of the game. 

5:30/6:30 P.M.- Once practice has concluded the day isn’t just quite over for the head coach. Some days Ruppel will go and get a workout of his own in before heading home to shower before making dinner. Occasionally Ruppel will also breakdown film of practice from that day if he liked something that he saw, or noted something to fix in the following day’s practice. 

8 P.M.- This is leisure time for Ruppel at the conclusion of a normal day, spending time with his girlfriend Linzie and two house cats. 

9-9:30 P.M.- Sleep time for Ruppel before another adventurous day as the head coach of the QU men’s lacrosse team that competes in the GLVC conference. 

The thing that both coaches emphasized and brought to light throughout their responses was how, as being the two coaches of 32 collegiate student athletes, they can’t quite treat the titles of head and assistant coach as some would. 

Being a men’s lacrosse coach requires a 1a-1b type of situation in order for all the tasks and activities to be completed. Many components need to work in order for the team to not only compete, but improve in competing, in look ahead for a way to bring home conference titles for the program. 

Ruppel works in the more operational side of the team and Madden works in the analytical aspects of the team. This change occurred after the previous assistant coach, Brendan McCrudden, departed QU after acquiring a high-end student operation job at Washington University located in Seattle, Washington. 

Both of the coaches noted that their favorite part of their day is being at practice around all of the guys. They have the most fun there and believe the best part of the job is getting to interact and be a part of the players lives. The coaches continue their season alongside the team with three games left in the 2022 spring regular season.

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