Brendan Gorman is the owner of the Chicago Outlaws in the Midwest Indoor Lacrosse Association. He has played lacrosse for team Ireland, and now he is attempting to make an NLL squad at 38 years old.
“When I first started playing men’s club ball or coaching youth and high school lacrosse, I would always get the question you know the infamous question that would always follow a 90+ mph shot in the upper corner “Where did you play in college?”” said Gorman. “It was a question I was always very embarrassed to answer and I would tip toe around it even stretch the truth to a a degree, because I know where I could of played but didn’t.”
Gorman grew up in Rockland County, New York, where he played big time Division one high school lacrosse. But he didn’t go to any big name colleges for lacrosse.
“I had one thing on my mind and that was playing lacrosse in college.Â There were no travel lacrosse organizations to help mentor, or help you get recruited and it was rare for an A.D. or coach to assist you in getting noticed by a college.Â The lack of internet, cell phones, heck even cordless phones might of played an issue in that.
“I applied and visited several Division 1 schools that were interested in me Stony Brook, Siena, UMass, UMBC, Marist, West Point to name a few.Â That spring of my senior year as I was breaking school records all over the lacrosse fields, my mailbox was getting flooded with rejection letters from some of the top lacrosse programs in the country.Â It was a very difficult time in my life here I was the best lacrosse player, and not a dumb kid at all but I realized that I just took the last 4 years for granted and did not apply myself the way I should of and I was left on the outside looking in.”
Gorman would end up attending Elmira College in western New York. “This was where I was first introduced to box lacrosse.Â We had several Canadian hockey and lacrosse players on our team.Â I quickly became a student of the game and would go to the rink with the boy’s and practice every opportunity we had.Â Having a field background and being an offensive player I loved the pace of the game the constant action, the ball and how it floated across the floor with such grace. ”
He would eventually leave Elmira, however. Gorman becameÂ academicallyÂ ineligibleÂ after the fall. “I continued to go to school and lacrosse slowly began to slip away and within a year I could not even tell you where one of my sticks could be found.” recalled Gorman. Â “If I had to guess now I would say it was in a junk pile in the garage.Â Yes the same stick I scored 8 goals in one half with, the same stick that broke 12 H.S. records.Â The love of the game was no longer inside me. ”
Gorman would relocate to Las Vegas where he stayed for four years. After going to UNLV for a while, Gorman moved to Chicago with his wife, who he met in Las Vegas.
“One weekend while visiting a local sports store I came across the lacrosse section, I was shocked to actually see sticks and balls in a sports store and decided to buy a stick and a few balls.Â The first time I took my new stick to the wall I had a smile on my face, it had been roughly 6 years since I last touched a lacrosse stick.Â It brought back so many good times, so many great friends, and so many feelings that simply made me feel good.Â Each weekend or evening after work I would visit a wall or a local goal at the h.s. eventually I joined a field team in Chicago and got back out there playing.”
He would eventually coach and play in that league, before he started thinking of playing for the Irish National Team. “I remember calling my dad one evening letting him know I was playing and coaching lacrosse again and he had told me about a try out that was coming up for the Irish National lacrosse team.Â My father was very proud of our Irish roots both him and my mother were children of Irish immigrants.Â He really wanted me to give it a shot but the logistics and timing did not seem to work out for me.
“A year and a half after that conversation with my dad he was diagnosed with lung cancer, it was a battle that only lasted 4 months.Â He passed away in December 2002.Â He never did see play lacrosse after being away from the game for so long.Â I continued to play, and coach always thinking about him and remembering what a great coach he was to me when I was a young boy.”
Eight years later, Gorman was the leading scorer for a league in Chicago and the varsity coach for a top program in Illinois. “I was dead set on making the NLL’S Chicago Shamroxs they had been in town for 2 seasons already I had practiced and played with some of their local guys and felt I could hang.Â I registered as a free agent and contacted the team before the 2009 season I was planning on attending the open try out when the team decided there would be no 2009 season.Â That was a bummer what what I did see on the horizon was tryout’s for the Irish National box lacrosse team.”
Gorman went to Belfast, Ireland in 2011 to try out for the Irish National Team after they had competed in 2007. He made the team and was named the captain of the club.
“After returning home from Prague and the 2011 WILC I was determined once again to grow the game I have now fell back in love with.Â I ended up starting the Chicago Outlaws.Â This year will be our second yer competing and are getting bigger and stronger day by day.Â Last year played in the MILA with only four teams this year we have 12 teams.Â We are always looking for more games against stronger opponents.”
The Outlaws are one of the most successful teams in the MILA, and this season they want to be strong again. But Gorman has his eyes set on not only the Outlaws, but beyond.
“Â The MILA is great competition but I ask myself do I have enough in the tank for a pro season?Â I want nothing more then to make a NALL/PLL/NLL roster this coming winter and spring.Â I plan on using this MILA season to get back into top tier shape.Â I feel I have enough experience and knowledge to help any team out.Â Especially seeing these teams get younger each year, it is key to have a few older players on the floor.Â I have been told no so many times before I am only looking for a shot to compete with the est players in the world one more time”
Gorman concludes saying, “So getting back the question “where did you play in college?”Â I embrace the question now and use it as a learning tool and why grades are so important.Â I tell my players that coaches recruit students that happened to be pretty good lacrosse players.Â I can now answer that question with full confidnece that I have no more regrets and I have the game back in my life.”
“Is a 38 year old rookie in the NLL gonna happen??? Give me a shot and we can find out”