He replaces a legend, and a legend who, says new Cheshire boys lacrosse coach Mike Devine, shaped him as a player and as a person.
Mike Devine wants to continue what Rich Pulisciano did for over two decades at Cheshire, but he plans to be himself at the helm, too.
Excited to announce Mike Devine (2010 CHS Alum) as the 6th Head Coach in the Cheshire Lacrosse Program! Congratulations Coach! pic.twitter.com/eF9zqHLXOV
— CHS Rams Lacrosse (@CHSRamsLacrosse) July 1, 2019
“I’m going to be Mike Devine. That’s all I can really do,” Devine said Monday morning after the school named him the sixth head coach in program history. “If I have half the career Coach P had, I’ll be pretty darn successful.
“Like I said to the kids this morning, the faces may chance, but the tradition that’s been built for 35, 40 years is not going to change.”
Devine, who turns 27 in a week, is a 2010 Cheshire alumnus. He played midfield in college at Eastern Connecticut for coach Justin Axel, another inspiration for his coaching and teaching career; he’s a teacher at Stafford High School.
Pulisciano brought Devine on as an assistant after college. In 2017, he was named Class L assistant coach of the year, helping the Rams to the CIAC final.
“Mike was a perfect fit for the position,” athletic director Steve Trifone said in a press release. “He brings with him a deep knowledge of the sport as well as the ability to bring the best out of his athletes. He will continue many long standing traditions in Cheshire Lacrosse but also adapt his own philosophy within the program. We are excited to have him on board.”
Pulisciano, who won two CIAC championships — the second in 2010, with Devine an all-state senior midfielder — retired after the season.
To succeed him, “honestly, it means everything,” Devine said. “No one is going to be able to replace Coach P. It’s nearly impossible, what he’s done for the State of Connecticut lacrosse, for Cheshire lacrosse, for me. He molded me into the player I am, the coach I am and the overall person I am. To be the next guy in line, I feel really honored.”