Doug Schreiber was a two-time, first-team All-American midfielder at Maryland who led the 1973 squad in assists with 33 en route to the program’s national championship. But when it was time for Tom Schreiber to pick a school at which to play lacrosse, he did not seriously consider his father’s alma mater.
“I kind of narrowed it down to Princeton, Georgetown, Duke and Hopkins,” said Schreiber, a first-team All-American midfielder in 2012 who plays for Princeton. “I never visited Maryland. I think my dad kind of wanted me to do something different from him – as well as I did. I’ve always rooted for Maryland and once I graduate from Princeton, I’ll be a Maryland fan again. My dad had an amazing experience there, and he still loves the Terps. He still roots for them in basketball and football, and so do I. But I think that was just more for him, and he wanted something different for me in terms of college experience.”
Schreiber’s commitment to the Tigers may have loosened in June 2009 when coach Bill Tierney stepped down to take the same position at Denver. But Schreiber, who hails from East Meadow, N.Y., said following Tierney out west was not an option at the time.
“He didn’t really approach me about it, and I wouldn’t have any interest in that,” he said. “I’m really close to my family – my parents, a lot of uncles and aunts around. I really wouldn’t want to stray too far away. That’s one reason why Princeton was perfect. I still get a lot of my family coming to my games at Princeton. And last week, playing at Hofstra, I had a ton of people there, too.”
Chris Bates, who left Drexel to succeed Tierney at Princeton, said he heard whispers about coaches pursuing Schreiber. That’s why he drove to Schreiber’s house the day after his hiring to secure the midfielder’s commitment.
“Knowing how quickly the recruiting piece happens, I don’t know if it was an imminent threat, but I had heard some rumblings that people were going to sniff around,” Bates recalled. “He was obviously an important enough piece for Princeton lacrosse’s future that I decided to connect with him as soon as possible. You heard that people were going to investigate it. Without a national letter of intent, I guess that’s their prerogative, and you want to present a young man with an alternative, but we were pleased that he stayed with Princeton.”
Retaining Schreiber provided immediate benefits for the Tigers, but it also delivered a statement about the state of the program.
“It was a good first get, so to speak,” Bates said. “It did provide a good foundation for a new regime, and I think it was important for his class and just for the general perception that Princeton is Princeton. With all due respect to Coach Tierney and the previous regimes, we’re still going to be Princeton and Princeton lacrosse is still going to have the same goals even though there were some new faces. Reassuring and reaffirming that sent a powerful message to other recruits, the program, the alums and frankly to our staff as we took over the program.”