Every year, men’s lacrosse coach Mike Murphy buys an old-school–style metal lunchbox that his team will carry with them everywhere throughout the season. “It signifies hard work, toughness, and blue-collar mentality,” Murphy explained. Each week of practice, the coaching staff picks a player based on his performance and puts his number on the lunchbox. Whenever the team wins, a talisman representing the opponent’s mascot goes into the lunchbox (pictured above; photo by Mark DiOrio).
Let them eat cake
Former football head coach Dick Biddle used to tell his players: “Don’t be cake eaters” — meaning “don’t be soft,” explained current head coach Dan Hunt. On Halloween in 2012, Biddle’s admonishment came out a little sweeter when he brought in an actual cake, saying, in frosting, “Don’t be cake eaters.” It was a Wednesday, and the team won their game that Saturday. “Coach Biddle is very superstitious,” Hunt said, “so we started the tradition that every Wednesday after practice, there is cake in the locker room.”
Men’s rugby begins each game with a solemn moment of silence in tribute to former player Victor Krivitski ’12, who died of cancer before the start of his senior year. The team’s practice shirts and jerseys all have a “VK” stitched on them. “We play for Victor and the hundreds of former Colgate rugby players who made it possible for us to play the sport today,” said Eli Brick ’17.
Before every match, the women’s rugby team forms two lines. The two captains walk down the lines: one with a black Sharpie, the other with a yellow highlighter.
“May the force of the cheetah … ,” says the first captain as she marks each player’s cheek with three black dots. “ … Be with you always,” the second captain says as she swipes the dots with yellow highlighter. The whole team then runs, roaring, through the uprights.
Coach Anne-Marie Lemal Brown says that the team’s biggest strength has always been speed, like a cheetah. Last year, they zoomed right into the National Small College Rugby Organization finals.
To keep his cool before and during a match, volleyball coach Ryan Baker eats Atomic FireBalls. “It stops me from yelling at the team,” Baker said.
13 men, 13 dollars… 13 jumping jacks
Before each Saturday game, the men’s hockey team warms up with a 13-minute morning skate. Their pregame stretch finishes up with 13 jumping jacks.
A month before big meets like the Patriot League Championships, men’s swimming and diving team members renounce their razors. A couple of days before competition, they shave off everything except for their mustaches — which they dye black. “It looks absolutely ridiculous, but it helps bring us together as a team,” said captain Dominic Wilkins ’17.