Malvern Introduces Mr. Matt Mackrides ‘08 as New Associate Director of Athletics

Mackrides speaks on his experience playing collegiate and professional lacrosse, the idea behind Blue Ox, and his favorite part about coaching at Malvern.

Matt Powers, Senior Writer & Editor

After graduating from Malvern in 2008, Mackrides continued his lacrosse career at Penn State University. The attackman joined a talented Nittany Lions team and started an impressive twelve games as a freshman.

“I was very fortunate to play for Pennsylvania State University as a Student-Athlete,” Mackrides said. “I had a great four years on and off of the field and learned a lot from my coaching staff and the student-athlete community.”

Mackrides was named a captain for his junior and season years, finishing with 101 goals and 43 assists across his four years. Additionally, he was a three-time First Team All-CAA selection and Second Team All American in 2012. However, it wasn’t the memories he made on the field that had a lasting impact on Mackrides; rather, it was the moments off the field with his coaches and teammates.

“Coaches will tell players in high school, ‘You will remember the off the field and in the locker room experiences more than the in-game experiences.’ I didn’t believe it then, but certainly, do now,” Mackrides said. “The off-season training and locker room experiences before and after practice and games are what we remember most as athletes. Sure we remember winning big games and scoring game-winning goals, but you moreso miss the experiences you shared with your teammates outside of gameplay.”

After graduating from Penn State in 2012, Mackrides was drafted 26th overall by the Chesapeake Bayhawks of the Major Lacrosse League (MLL) in 2012. With the Bayhawks, he won two MLL Championships in four seasons before being traded to the Atlanta Blaze in 2016. Mackrides, a four-time MLL All-Star, decided to call it quits after two years with the Blaze and six total years in the MLL. But, those years playing professional lacrosse taught him many important lessons that he was able to apply later in his life.

“Playing professionally helped me learn about time management and perspective,” Mackrides acknowledged. “I was traveling weekly to cities I had never visited before. I met people from all over our country and was able to play with great teammates on both professional teams. Professional lacrosse was a larger scale of what I experienced collegiately. The lacrosse community is very welcoming and supportive and I felt that throughout my professional career.”

Following his MLL career, Mackrides created Blue Ox, a lacrosse training company that is designed to help lacrosse athletes reach their highest potential. With his vast experience in lacrosse, his initial intention with Blue Ox was to provide a service for the Greater Philadelphia area lacrosse players to grow as athletes, but they have greater goals in sight.

“I am very passionate about coaching athletes both on and off of the field and creating Blue Ox seemed like the best course to follow in order to fulfill that passion,” Mackrides said. “Blue Ox Lacrosse has ambitious goals for the future. We would like to expand our business to provide a service throughout the East Coast.”

Recently, Mackrides was named the new Associate Director of Athletics and will work in the athletic department for years to come. Mr. Jim Stewart, Director of Athletics, noted that Mackrides stood out among all other candidates because of his familiarity with Malvern and extensive experience.

Stewart commented, “All of the candidates that we interviewed were qualified for this role, so the competition was very strong. Mr. Mackrides brings a strong knowledge of the relative skills necessary for a seamless transition. His professional approach to the job and his familiarity with our athletic culture is excellent. The fact that he is a varsity assistant lacrosse coach is a bonus as any time a new hire can fill another role, it adds efficiency to the program.”

Being an alum, Mackrides can’t wait to get back onto campus more regularly, adding that the Malvern community’s camaraderie is like no other. He looks forward to the upcoming lacrosse season and helping student-athletes succeed on and off the field.

“I love seeing the players of our school develop to reach their potential and have fun at the same time,” Mackrides said. “We have many goals as a program and team, but overarchingly we want to be better than we were yesterday. Seems cliché, but it is the best mindset to have if you want to fulfill your potential collectively.”