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Q&A With Alumnus Ricky Fried ('88), United States Women's Lacrosse National Team Head Coach
1988 UMBC All-America men’s lacrosse player Ricky Fried has been named the 2009-2013 U.S. Women’s Lacrosse National Team Head Coach.
Fried, who also represented UMBC at the 1988 North-South All-Star game, amassed 49 goals and 21 assists as a midfielder in his three campaigns (1986-88) at UMBC. The Timonium, Md. native served as a tri-captain in 1988 and posted totals of 29 goals and nine assists in his final season.
He was the recipient of the E. Richard Watts, Jr. Leadership Award in 1988 and was subsequently named to the UMBC All-Time Team.
Fried started his coaching career with the Retrievers’ men’s program in 1989 and earned his bachelor’s degree in history/education from UMBC in 1988. He is currently the head women’s lacrosse coach at
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Steve Levy, who recalled with ease the quickness and skill that Ricky Fried possessed as a Retriever from 1986-88, talked with the new head mentor of USA Women’s Lacrosse.
SL: Has it sunk in yet that you are the coach of a national team that will represent the
RF: Just recently, we had our first round of tryouts this past weekend and I was introduced as the new head coach. It is very exciting and humbling at the same time. I am very much looking forward to working with the players and
SL: You stated in your UMBC senior bio back in 1988 that you would like to coach the sport of lacrosse. Could you have ever imagined the path you have taken?
RF: Not at all, I never really considered coaching the women’s game when I was in school. It has been a lot of fun and it just goes to show that you may know what you want, you just never know how you are going to get there or what it will look like when you do.
SL: After your time at UMBC, you spent a couple of years at Gilman, coaching the boys, before getting involved in the women’s program at Johns Hopkins. What lit the spark for you to start coaching the women’s game?
RF: Actually, Gilman lit the spark. They wanted to get more faculty involved and less adjunct coaches. John Tucker called to give me the news and asked if I wanted to work with his wife, Janine, who had just been hired to coach the Hopkins women’s team. I wasn’t really sure what to think, but after talking with Janine I decided to do it. It was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made.
SL: What do you envision to be the toughest part of your job as head coach of Team
RF: Finding the 18 players that will make up the best team. There is more than enough talent in the
SL: Briefly discuss the progress and growth of the sport of women’s lacrosse in this country and across the world?
RF: Women’s lacrosse is growing incredibly fast. At the youth and high school levels it is amazing the number of young girls picking up the game. US Lacrosse has done an incredible job of promoting the sport, especially at the grass roots level. The game itself has changed also. In the 16 years that I have been involved there have been numerous rules changes, the equipment has changed tremendously and the players all seem to be getting more and more athletic every year. It has been great to see the growth of the sport.
SL: What are your most vivid memories of your time at UMBC, specifically your All-American season in 1988?
As I get older the things you remember are the people more than the games, especially after this many years. I am on campus every year with the
SL: Are there any former teammates that you remain in close contact with?
RF: Not as close as I would like. I do keep in touch via email with a few, like Craig Parks (’88) and Ray Ignacio (’87). I also run into others often, like Rodney Beres (’90) Jeff Flaig (’86) and Scott Morrison (’89) at the convention, but with two kids and the amount of travel with work it is difficult to stay in touch as much as I would like.
SL: Have you followed the progress of UMBC men’s lacrosse under Coach Zimmerman over the past several years? If so, what are your impressions of your alma mater?
RF: Zim is doing a great job. The success they have had over the past years has been awesome and I know that everyone I talk to is excited when the season comes around every year. There is a lot of pride in the program and it is great to see all of the success they have had.