March 30, 2014

Give and Go: Team USA/Penn State's Jeff Tambroni

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter

This interview originally appears in the April 2014 issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Start your subscription by joining US Lacrosse today! (John Strohsacker/

Penn State coach and Team USA assistant would love a one-day contract to manage the New York Yankees. What else did we find out about the one-time Hobart midfielder?

Who is your favorite athlete?

Derek Jeter. He's a true professional, and has been a leader and a winner in the most challenging place to play a professional sport: New York.

What's one thing you can't live without?

My wife, Chelle. Not sure where I would be without her during the last 14 years. She is the rock of our family, as she operates for long stretches more like a single mother because of my schedule. Being a coach's wife is not easy. I would be the first to admit that.

What's one thing that always puts you in a good mood?

My three daughters, Carissa, Maddie and Ella. They are at every home game and will come charging across the field (win or lose) with a hug for dad. They share my pain when we lose and joy when we win but they always put things back into perspective.

What's one thing lacrosse really needs?

A chance to be included in the Olympic games!

What's been the proudest moment of your career?

Being a part of the 2004 Cornell Lacrosse team, which lost its captain, George Boiardi. I learned what it meant to be a coach that year.

What's the biggest obstacle you've overcome?

The passing of George Boiardi on March 17, 2004. I could not have moved on without the support of my family, the Boiardi family, who are amazing people, and the Cornell lacrosse community.

If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Former UCLA men's basketball coach John Wooden. He has set the standard for all coaches in all sports. I would have loved to have one conversation with him before he passed.

What's the most adventurous thing you've ever done?

Move to State College, Pa., with my wife and family. We were very settled in Ithaca for 13 years, but decided to pack up the kids and start a new journey here in Happy Valley.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

I have always wanted to be a lacrosse coach for as long as I can remember. I had the great fortune to have played for coach Mike Messere at West Genesee (N.Y.) High. His influence has always inspired me to become a coach.

Its 2024 — Where are you and what are you doing?

Hopefully still coaching here at Penn State.

Where did you go on your last vacation?

Bald Head Island off the coast of North Carolina. We traveled with another family from State College and had a blast. No cars are allowed on the island, just golf carts. Highly recommended for those with kids.

Do you have any pregame rituals?

The only consistent for me on game day is a message from my father. He sends me a text the morning of every game.

What's on your lacrosse bucket list?

Winning a national championship would be an amazing accomplishment to share with the loyal and passionate Penn State lacrosse community. A gold medal in Denver would also be nice! Is that being too greedy?

Overtime (from Penn State goalie Austin Kaut)

What song best describes your work ethic?

Great question, Austin. "Trudging through the Snow" by Bryan Frates. It's a great iTunes download. Check it out. He's my nephew on his way to making it big in the music industry.

Double Overtime (from Brianna Lamoureux, Miller Place, N.Y.)

If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?

I feel very fortunate to have a job that I love, a supportive wife and three beautiful daughters. Life is good. If I could add to that list, maybe a one-day contract to manage the New York Yankees (vs. the Red Sox).

Pose a question for our next subject.

What Hollywood actor/actress plays you in a movie about your life?

Submit a Double Overtime Question for our next Give and Go interviewee!


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