College Lacrosse

Doing it all: Cathy and Brian Reese balance coaching lacrosse, family

Cathy and Brian Reese finally had some free time.

They returned from Foxborough, Mass., at about 1 a.m. a few weeks ago with Cathy's third national title as Maryland women's lacrosse coach in four years. Preparations for a celebration that afternoon hadn't begun.


But a moment meant for relaxation and a cup of coffee soon turned to a discussion about who should take their youngest child, 5-year-old Braxton, to the emergency room after he hit his head on the kitchen table.

Cathy went, while Brian started the watch party with fellow Maryland men's lacrosse alumni.


It was an example, they said, of the hectic balance with their careers — Brian is also a head coach, of the Chesapeake Bayhawks and co-coaches the Glenelg Country girls lacrosse team — and four kids under 13.

That's why Brian wants a laid-back Father's Day, maybe with some gifts, dinner and — most importantly — no hospital trips.

"Like every family, you do what you need to do to figure it out," Cathy said at a Bayhawks game on June 2, just as Brody, 10, interrupted to ask for snack money.

"The nice thing is with my job, I have a great staff, and it gives me more flexibility and freedom. Plus, Brian works close to our house," she continued before pausing again to tell Brody to take only $10 as he pulled a wad of bills from her purse.

Then Riley, 12, walked over to ask if she wanted to share M&M's because he bought a large pack.

"Leave me alone for a minute," Cathy said with a laugh. "I need to talk."

Before Braxton got five stitches above his left eyebrow, the Reeses were in Foxborough: Cathy, 40, in a ninth consecutive final four and Brian, 40, at the Major League Lacrosse draft.

They left Brody, 9-year-old Cayden and Braxton with a babysitter, but Riley refused. "The No. 1 fan," Brian said. "He's just so into the games."


The weekend was successful. Maryland prevailed and the Bayhawks secured a class with three former Terps, but it required planning — and superstition.

Cathy's team throttled Penn State in the semifinal to advance to the championship against Boston College on May 28 at 11 a.m., set for the same time as the draft at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill at Patriot Place.

So, Brian followed the score on Twitter while making his picks about a five-minute walk from Gillette Stadium. He texted Riley during a break.

"He was like, 'I'm done. I might come in,'" Riley remembered. "And I was like, 'Don't come in. Just stay out there.'"

They thought Brian's attendance was bad luck after some tense moments in the Big Ten tournament, and a superstitious Riley, who changed seats with Boston College threatening Maryland's lead — at one point lying facedown on the floor — didn't want to risk the undefeated season.

Brian's schedule, though, didn't hinder Cathy's fourth national championship as head coach. He rushed into the stadium as the game was ending and met Riley on the field, posing for pictures before returning to the draft.


"They're all just so passionate about lacrosse," Maryland midfielder and Tewaaraton Award winner Zoe Stukenberg said. "They make it work, and they find a way to let everyone pursue their passion."

The victory sparked a week of banquets, ceremonies and honors — all requiring more organization.

Riley and Brody play lacrosse, basketball and soccer. Cayden does the three, plus field hockey. Braxton is on the cusp of starting lacrosse.

The Reeses scheduled carpools and babysitters around the festivities.

"We don't want to tell our kids they can't do something," Brian said, "but there's some times when we're like, 'Are we completely nuts?'"

Before attending the Bayhawks game, for example, Cathy took Braxton to the doctor to remove his stitches.


Riley and Brody rode with Brian to Annapolis, shagging balls and talking with players during warmups. They transferred to Cathy's watch when she arrived with her players and assistants from their senior dinner.

Cayden's friend's parents, meanwhile, drove her to two basketball games, and Braxton stayed with a sitter.

The two said it's hard to miss the kids' activities for their own commitments. Cathy estimated her responsibilities at Maryland and Brian's work at Glenelg Country in admissions and athletics reflect those of 9-to-5 jobs — until they add game days, travel and recruiting.

But they work to mitigate conflicts.

Brian coaches Riley's teams because he has Type 1 diabetes, and Cathy lends extra help to Cayden, who often asks whether her mom will still coach when she's a Terp.

"Her heart's set on it," Cathy said. "It's really sweet."


Still, Cathy and Brian — and the kids — said the perks of their jobs outweigh the guilt.

When Brian volunteered on Cathy's national championship team in 2010, they received pictures from friends watching Riley and Brody with the boys in face paint and holding beers.

Riley hasn't missed a final four since and loves the team dinners, hotel stays and bus rides home.

Brody accompanied the Terps on the field at the Bayhawks game, dabbing as Cathy waved to the fans of her husband's team.

Cayden's bedroom door is covered in Maryland pictures: individual shots of her mom and former stars Taylor Cummings and Stukenberg, team and family poses from national championship wins and a North Carolina logo with a red circle and line through the middle.

However, for as Maryland- and lacrosse-crazed as the family's schedule is, the Reeses want to manage a quiet Father's Day.


Brian hopes the kids will make gifts in school, and he'll go to dinner with Cathy at one of their favorite restaurants.

Where's that?

"Anywhere with a little bit of peace and quiet," Brian said. "We're not picky."