Leading up to and following last season's 12-6 rout of the Naval Academy, Maryland head men's lacrosse coach John Tillman spoke repeatedly in glowing terms about the level of coaching the Midshipmen received. Wasting no time in finding his replacement for Ryan Moran who left Maryland less than three weeks ago to become the offensive coordinator at Loyola, Tillman backed up that talk with the hiring of J.L. Reppert from Navy's staff Thursday.
Judging from his resume at Navy, Reppert's immediate focus is likely to work on the Terrapins' shooting skills. When he took the job in Annapolis three seasons ago, Navy's shooting percentage of .280 was twenty-eighth in the nation. In Reppert's first season, the Middies shooting percentage jumped to .311 good for thirteenth in the country. Interestingly, Maryland, which finished thirty-third in shot percentage in 2014 converted at a .283 rate - quite similar to Navy's when Reppert took on those duties.
In 2009, Reppert was an assistant coach at Harvard. Harvard's head coach at that time was none other than John Tillman. Reppert, who started at attack for Navy from 1996 to 1999, has one other connection to Maryland. He served as an assistant coach at Washington College in 2011 under Maryland graduate Jeff Shirk. Shirk was a short stick midfielder for the Terps and was a member of the 1998 ACC Championship team.
During the season that Tillman and Reppert worked together at Harvard, the Crimson won eight games including a 9-6 upset at fifth ranked Duke to open that season. Five Crimson players were named All-Ivy as well.
Reppert served nine years in the Marine Corps attaining the rank of captain before leaving the service to embark on his lacrosse coaching career. In his senior year at Navy, Reppert was selected as team captain and helped lead the Mids to an NCAA Tournament bid all while graduating with honors with a degree in political science.
Of his new hire, Tillman said, "We are excited to have J.L. and his family join the Maryland lacrosse family. I have tremendous respect for him as a person, mentor, and recruiter. He has been leading others for a long time and he has a strong willingness to express his convictions. I wanted our hire to bring a diverse background and be willing to challenge myself daily to find the best way to do things in all areas of our program. He is a very bright guy who believes in developing strong relationships. His character and work ethic are impeccable and he will be a positive influence on the young men in our program."