By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/15/15
Rich Moses said he knew a long time ago that his calling in lacrosse would go well beyond playing and even coaching.
“Back in 1989, legendary Hobart lacrosse coach Dave Urick said to our team after a hard fought win in the National Championship that we should remember to give something back to the great game of lacrosse that has and will continue to give us so much,” said Moses. “This has been a mantra of mine and has guided my coaching philosophy to a large extent.
“I try to let the boys know how much the love of the game means and how a team can accomplish great things. Being involved with HEADstrong is a great way to give back to lacrosse and more importantly the greater community.”
Moses, who is Director of the new HEADstrong expansion chapter and club programs in the Dallas area, was recognized Friday night at the 5th annual HEADstrong Gala at Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing with the Relentless Award for his many contributions to the sport.
Moses, a former high school teammate of Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala at St, Mary’s in Manhasset on Long Island, realized his mission after learning of consecutive cancer diagnosis to long-time friends, one to high school teammate and former Cornell great Paul Schimoler and also to Danielle Stephens.
“It all started in November of 2012 when a dear friend of mine from high school, Paul Schimoler was diagnosed with brain cancer,” said Moses. “He died within 6 weeks and then 2 weeks later another good friend, Danielle was diagnosed with Leukemia (currently cancer free).
“Back at home in Highland Park we did a stem cell donor drive and broke all kinds of records. So I reached out to (blood cancer survivor and Mount St. Mary’s coach) Tom Gravante, a teammate of mine at Hobart and told him I was interested in marrying my love of lacrosse and the want and need, frankly, to help fight cancer. Tom told me to call the Colleuoris up and I met (HEADstrong President) Cheryl Colleluori and it all happened.
“When I looked back at what we accomplished I was amazed and humbled at the same time. I came to the realization that it isn’t a matter of ‘if’ we are all touched by blood cancer but ‘when’ and I decided to see how I could use my passion for lacrosse to help in the battle.
“Texas has been great (as a home for HEADstrong) and the experience has been fun and inspirational. I am truly loving this.”
Moses is both heading the Texas HEADstrong chapter and overseeing the leadership of three HEADstrong club teams at the 2018, 2019 and 2020 age groups. But his idea of club programs under the HEADstrong umbrella is different than most.
“We hope to expand to four teams, but what i do not want to do is get into the recruiting racket,” he said. “I want to teach kids that it’s not just about wins or losses. There are valuable life lessons to learn. We try to fill a little bit of a niche.
“We compete in just one tournament a year, the Sandstorm Lacrosse Festival, each January in Indio, California. the parents love it and love what I stand for and what HEADstrong stands for and fully comprehend the difference between myself and what some other for-profit programs are doing. Everybody rallies around it and I love it.”
Moses has had great success in fundraising events that benefit the community, a staple of the HEADstrong mission. His program ran a fundraiser clinic in September that raised $10,000 and his Mustache Madness campaign raised another $15,000 and placed second in a national competition that has gained tremendous popularity. Just recently he helped organize the Patriot Cup, which raised funds for HEADstrong and the Wounded Warrior Foundation.
Moses is a Board Member of Bridge Lacrosse, which helps bring lacrosse and develop after school programs in non traditional lacrosse communities.