A dream comes true as alumni comes full circle to become Boys Lacrosse head coach

Boys Lacrosse Head Coach Mike Shilling has returned to beef up the program


Mr. Collura

Coach Shilling on the sidelines with his players

Mr. Collura, Math teacher

The boys lacrosse team has a new face leading the charge, but it is a very familiar face to the RV program. 2013 graduate and boys lacrosse player Mike Shilling became the Boys Lacrosse Head Coach heading into the 2019-2020 season. With COVID putting a pause on–and ultimately ending–the season, the boys lacrosse program had to wait until this spring for fans to see the new maestro leading the charge.

While a student at RV, Coach Shilling was a two sport athlete at RV with playing at Kean University for four years. Following his collegiate playing career, he was an assistant coach for Cedar Grove High school for a year and served as the freshman and varsity assistant for one year as well.

The Holly Spirit took time to sit down with Coach Shilling as he reflects on his first full season and his journey from RV back to his alma mater. 


Holly Spirit: What were some of the goals that you have that would make the year a success to you and your coaching staff?

Coach Shilling: Our first measure of success will be based off the buy-in and pride in the program that we can see within the players. We want our players to feel like they are a part of the RV lacrosse family and have pride in that everywhere they go. We also will evaluate the standard to which the players hold themselves to on the field and in the classroom. On the field, we want our players thinking about how they could have done better situationally no matter the outcome of the game or play. We also want our players to become the model students at Rancocas Valley. We want our players to be the standard that teachers want other students to model in the classroom and in the community.  

HS: At what point did you know that being the RV Varsity Lacrosse head coach was a goal of yours? 

Coach Shilling: The first day that I set foot on Kean University as a freshman recruit, we had our first practice, and before that practice on the field the coach had us write out goals for ourselves. It was at that time that I realized that I wanted to come back and be the RV coach so that I could be instrumental in helping as many future RV lacrosse players experience what I knew I was going to do for the next four years. 

HS: After hearing that you got the job, what was one of the first things you did?

Coach Shilling: I called my dad. He has been a huge person in my life as a father, best friend and anything else you can think of. My journey has not been the same as many other athletes that become a head coach. Throughout that journey the relationship that I have with my dad is truly what got me to where I am today. 

HS: I noticed that you have a lot of RV alumni on your staff. Can you explain why you made that a priority?

Coach Shilling: I think it’s important no matter where you coach that you care about the school, the program and most importantly the kids. I also want our players to feel a part of the RV lacrosse family and know that we hope that maybe one of them will go on, get a degree, and possibly come back and help be a part of coaching the next generation. There’s no better way to show the players the idea of a family and also the possibility of dreams that they might have than modeling it with my coaching staff. 


After sitting down with Coach Shilling, a few things were clear; the RV lacrosse program is centered around family, giving back and raising the standard of their expectations, not to mention the high level of lacrosse knowledge the coaching administration obtains. As Coach Shilling finishes his first full year of leading the program, I’m sure he’s looking forward to possibly his first opportunity at a potential playoff berth. It’s definitely safe to say that the up and coming boys lacrosse team is in good hands.