Rory Whipple is in his ninth season as the head coach of the men's lacrosse team. He is also the first head coach in program history for the Spartans. He owns an all-time record of 331-212 while being 113-37 at the helm of the Spartans.
The all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division II was previously the head coach at Florida Southern College. This marks the third program that Whipple has started as he quickly built the Spartans into a national contender.
In his 2018 and 2019 campaigns, Whipple led the Spartans to win their fifth and sixth consecutive Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championships in addition to guiding the team to its sixth straight year in the NCAA Tournament.
In 2017, Whipple led a squad that was nationally-ranked all season and advanced to the NCAA National Semifinals for the third straight season. He also guided the program to its fourth straight Sunshine State Conference regular season and tournament titles while posting an undefeated record in league play. He was the SSC Coach of the Year, as he coached Conor Whipple and Andrew Kew to first-team All-American honors as Marty Heyn and Chris Vetter were each third-teamers. Kew also set the NCAA Division II single-season scoring record with 86 goals on the season.
During the fifth year of the Spartan men's lacrosse program, Whipple guided the team to national prominence yet again, reaching the NCAA Division II Semifinals for the second time in program history. UT won the Sunshine State Conference regular season title as well as the tournament championship while maintaining a national ranking all season. UT took down No. 4 Mercyhurst in the NCAA Quarterfinals by a 10-9 final score.
In the program's fourth year of existence, Whipple guided his Spartans to the 2015 Sunshine State Conference regular season and tournament championships while being nationally-ranked all season. UT also received its second consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament in a season where it faced seven nationally-ranked opponents.
Whipple took the program to new heights in the third year of existence in 2014, leading the Spartans to a 16-3 record and perfect Sunshine State Conference mark of 5-0. UT won both the SSC regular season and conference tournament, and earned the program's first-ever bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament. UT would defeat Mercyhurst in the national quarterfinals by a score of 11-9, becoming the first-ever collegiate team from the state of Florida to host and also win an NCAA postseason game. The Spartans would fall in the national semifinals to eventual national champion Limestone. UT had three All-Americans in 2014, as Whipple was also honored as the SSC Coach of the Year.
He guided Tampa to a Deep South Conference regular season championship in the program's first year of existence in 2012, and repeated as DSC regular season champs in 2013. The Spartans also advanced to the DSC tournament semifinals in the first year and were a 2013 finalist.
Whipple spent two seasons at Florida Southern, leading the Mocs to an 11-10 victory over No. 10 Saint Leo in the program’s second year of existence. In the Deep South Tournament, the Moccasins won a first-round game over Rollins before dropping a 10-9 decision to Saint Leo in the semifinals in 2010.
In the Moccasins' first season of NCAA competition in 2008-09, Whipple guided his non-scholarship program to a 4-6 record and was just one win away from making the Deep South Conference Tournament.
Whipple officially began his duties at Florida Southern on June 1, 2008, after coaching the previous year at Vero Beach High School. He has an overall collegiate coaching record of 228-174 in 28 seasons as a head coach.
Whipple was the men’s lacrosse coach at Bryant University (R.I.) for seven seasons, starting the program in 2000 and producing a 75-39 record during that time. A total of 15 Bryant players earned All-America honors during his tenure. After posting a 7-7 record in its inaugural season, Bryant went on to enjoy six straight winning seasons under Whipple’s direction. His teams were nationally ranked in Division II each of his seven seasons there.
Before going to Bryant, Whipple was the men’s lacrosse coach at Hartwick College (N.Y.) for 12 years. He took over that program in 1987 and became the most successful coach in the program’s history, producing 10 straight winning seasons and an overall record of 114-65. He took Hartwick to its first NCAA tournament berth in 1995.
Prior to taking over the Hartwick program, Whipple coached the Clarkson University (N.Y.) men’s lacrosse team for seven seasons, setting the school record for wins with a 10-5 record in 1986. At the same time, he also was the head wrestling coach at Clarkson.
Whipple also has had extensive international lacrosse experience. In 1993 he traveled to Japan with a group from the U.S. to work development programs in that country. In 1994 he was named head coach of the Iroquois National Team and led the squad to a fifth-place finish at the World Lacrosse Championships in England. He also coached the team at the Commonwealth Games in Vancouver that year.
He returned to Japan in 1996 as a coach of the Iroquois National Team for the Under-19 World Championships. In 1999 he coached the Under-19 Iroquois Junior National Team to a bronze medal in the World Games in Australia. In 2002, he was an assistant coach for the Iroquois National Team that placed fourth in the 2002 World Championship in Australia.
A 1976 graduate of Cortland State (N.Y.), Whipple played on the Cortland State 1975 NCAA Division II championship lacrosse team. He also earned All-America honors in wrestling at Cortland State and twice was named the team’s most valuable wrestler.
He and his wife, Judy, have one daughter, Kristie, and two sons, Max and Conor.
|Totals||36 seasons||331-212 (.610)||Six NCAA tournaments|