Chesapeake Bayhawks Announce Chris Burdick as New Defensive Coordinator
ANNAPOLIS, MD - The Chesapeake Bayhawks are proud to announce Chris Burdick as their new assistant coach and defensive coordinator. The Cortland, New York native and recently-named head lacrosse coach at Webber International University will enter his role immediately.
"It's obviously extremely exciting to have this opportunity," said Burdick. "[Head Coach Dave Cottle] has kind of been a guy that's looked out for me my whole career."
"I always wanted to work for him, but I never had the opportunity," continued Burdick. "I get better every day just being involved with him."
Burdick most recently served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Bayhawks and has been helping the team throughout the 2019 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) season.
Burdick's promotion to defensive coordinator comes as Bob Shillinglaw steps down from his duties as an assistant coach. Shillinglaw, who coached the defense in 2018 and throughout the season in 2019, leaves the team in order to spend time with his family.
Shillinglaw, prior to coaching Chesapeake, spent 39 seasons as a legendary head coach with the University of Delaware's NCAA Lacrosse team. With the Blue Hens, Shillinglaw amassed a remarkable 310 victories and coached many all-time greats, including Major League Lacrosse's all-time point leader and former-Bayhawk John Grant Jr.
Another player whom "Shills" coached at Delaware was a young Chris Burdick. Burdick played goalie for the Blue Hens under Shillinglaw and later graduated from the university in 1991. Burdick later had Shillinglaw as his advisor for his masters' thesis and coached alongside him as an assistant at Delaware. Burdick only has fond and glowing memories of his former head coach.
"Coach Shillinglaw has had an unbelievable impact on my life not just on the lacrosse field, but also academically," said Burdick. "I was probably a 2.5 undergrad and ended up being a 4.0 grad student, so he had a huge impact on that part of my growth."
Burdick also attributes Shillinglaw's involvement in his life as the reason he has been successful as a coach. Shillinglaw helped Burdick discern his career path in undergrad and later helped to provide Burdick with an assistant coaching opportunity at the University of Notre Dame.
"The first thing that struck me about [Coach Shillinglaw] is how well he treats every single person that comes into his life. That is a very special man," said Burdick. "He cares about and really pays attention to every person he comes across.
"I remember working a camp for him way back in the old days," continued Burdick. "I remember him knowing every camper's name by their face - over 400 campers. I think it's a talent to do that, but at the same time it shows that he cares about every individual player."
"That's the thing you take from him," concluded Burdick, "try to treat every single person that you come across as well as you can."
Burdick also added the profound impact that "Shills" had on his ability to learn and grow as a young assistant coach, constantly expanding his knowledgebase.
Before his hiring at Webber, Burdick served as an assistant coach with the University of Tampa Spartans. Burdick won 101 games as an assistant with Tampa and helped transform them into a nationally-ranked Division II lacrosse program. Burdick, while at Tampa, was able to coach current Bayhawks attackman Andrew Kew who has been prominently featured in Chesapeake's lineup.
Prior to Chesapeake, Chris Burdick spent time as the defensive coordinator under Tom Mariano with the Florida Launch. It was there that Burdick got his feet wet in Major League Lacrosse and further opened the door to his Bayhawks opportunity.
"We just got an unbelievable locker room," exclaimed Burdick when asked about what excites him most about taking a larger role in the Bayhawks organization. "These guys are committed to each other at a level that is very special in any sports level ... They really care about each other, everybody wants to perform and be there for the next guy so that everyone in the room can be successful."
"I would be remiss if I didn't say how appreciative I am of [Owner] Brendan Kelly," finished Burdick. "He has probably been the biggest factor making a new guy in the organization feel comfortable. When you got a guy who is up top that has that type of charisma, that type of character, is that type of person - it makes it a lot easier because you feel welcome, you feel comfortable."
Burdick's first game as the Bayhawks' new defensive coordinator will be on Saturday night, August 17th at 7:00 PM EST, as the Bayhawks take on the Boston Cannons at home for Military Appreciation Night.
Saturday evening's game will feature a post-game fireworks show, an appearance by the Baltimore Ravens' drumline, and the return of the Bayhawks' skydiver.
Tickets for Military Appreciation Night are available at thebayhawks.com/tickets or can be purchased through the Chesapeake Bayhawks Ticket Office by calling 866-99-HAWKS or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Lexus Tailgate Zone will open at 4:30 PM and feature live music, photo booth, games for kids and complimentary Bud Light for ticket holders 21 and older.
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Chesapeake Bayhawks defensive coordinator Chris Burdick
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