Patriots look to Maryland lacrosse for newest staff member

Bayhawks' face-off man Charlie Raffa, left, scoops up the ball away from the Launch's Chris Mattes in the first quarter of a Major League Lacrosse game between the Chesapeake Bayhawks and Florida on April 30, 2016, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Bill Belichick loves lacrosse like he loves hoodies. We know this as fact.

One of the New England Patriots' wide receivers, Chris Hogan, played at Penn State. Mike Pellegrino, the former Johns Hopkins All-America long-stick midfielder, was hired as a coaching assistant last year. Belichick's two sons, Stephen (safeties coach) and Brian (coaching assistant), played at Rutgers and Trinity College, respectively.


So the idea that a volunteer assistant coach in a different sport — a college sport, no less — could earn a job with the NFL's top franchise becomes less crazy when you realize that the different sport is, yes, lacrosse.

On Friday, Chris Mattes announced that he was leaving one title-winning team for another. In a private post on his Instagram page, the Maryland men's volunteer assistant said he was "shipping off to Boston to work for the New England Patriots in football operations/player development."


An All-American at Rutgers and Major League Lacrosse veteran, Mattes co-founded The Faceoff Academy, which puts on youth clinics and high school combines across the country.

He also spent the past two years with the Terps, helping them reach the national championship game both years. His work in the past NCAA tournament with the team’s faceoff specialists was especially noteworthy, as sophomore Austin Henningsen and senior Jon Garino Jr. neutralized three of the top FOGOs in the country: Albany’s TD Ierlan, Denver’s Trevor Baptiste and Ohio State’s Jake Withers.

If that didn’t get Belichick’s attention, Mattes’ alma mater probably did. After all, the Patriots love a Rutgers man.