“I’m excited to have a guy like J.L. come to our program,” Tillman said. “Because of the type of leader and mentor and coach he is, to work with our young people is going to be great for our program. He’s a guy that I feel very comfortable with. I’ve known him for almost 20 years. So there’s a lot of comfort in terms of knowing what he’s all about, his knowledge of the game, our ability to work well together. I think a big part of a staff is the chemistry, and that was something that was factored in. There were some great candidates, and it was very difficult to choose one, but knowing that I had worked with J.L. before, there was a high level of comfort.”
Reppert, a Baltimore native and Loyola High graduate, was a four-year starting attackman for Navy, graduating with honors in 1999. The Midshipmen's offensive coordinator in that span was Tillman, who hired Reppert when Tillman became the head coach at Harvard in 2009.
Reppert was the senior assistant coach and offensive coordinator at Division III Washington College in 2011 before returning to his alma mater the following season.
Reppert replaces Ryan Moran, who left in late July to be the offensive coordinator at Loyola Maryland. Under Reppert, Navy averaged 9.1 goals in 2012, 7.9 in 2013 and 8.9 in 2014, the latter of which ranked 51st among 67 Division I programs this spring.
In six seasons under Moran, who was the offensive coordinator and associate head coach, Maryland averaged double-digit goals each year, including 11.4 goals per game, which ranked No. 18 nationally last season.
Tillman said comparing the two programs' numbers was unfair to Reppert.
“You coach the guys that you have, and you put them in position that you think will maximize their potential,” Tillman said. “I’m not over there [at Navy] every day, and so I don’t know what each of their players’ abilities are. What I do know is what he brings to the table. I know on a daily basis the eyes that he possesses, what he sees, what he believes in, the things that he preaches, the knowledge that he has, and I felt very good about what he brought to the table when we worked together. Having the ability to be with [Washington College coach] Jeff Shirk and [Navy coach] Rick Sowell, those are two really talented coaches that he’s gained even greater knowledge from, and I think that helps us.”
Tillman confirmed an Inside Lacrosse report that junior attackman Kevin Forster, sophomore attackman Tommy Forsberg and freshman defenseman Chad Rafferty would not return to the program. Inside Lacrosse reported that Forster is transferring to St. Joseph’s, Forsberg to Bryant and Rafferty to Loyola Maryland.
“Those players will not be back with our program next year, and we certainly wish them the best of luck in everything they do in the future,” Tillman said.