Lacrosse Game Rules

Tom Schreiber and Chris Bates Chasing Elusive Championship Together


It had been mere days since Chris Bates was hired as the new head coach of Princeton men’s lacrosse. But there he was, in high school junior and Princeton commit Tom Schreiber’s living room, diagramming X’s and O’s with the Schreiber family’s salt and pepper shakers. The family had been on a trip to the Outer Banks on July 1st, when coaches could visit players in their homes for the first time in the summer recruiting cycle. But that didn’t stop the current Head Coach and General Manager of Archers Lacrosse Club from meeting with Schreiber as soon as realistically possible. 

“I’m not sure I met them at the door when they were unpacking from [the trip to] North Carolina, but I was there soon thereafter,” recalls Bates with a chuckle. He continues, noting that “For me, [re-recruiting Schreiber] was job number one,” after becoming Princeton’s newest head coach. “Knowing Tom as a player, even talking to Coach Tierney… this was a unique talent and any time there’s a coaching change, the sharks are in the water.” 

“It meant a lot to me,” says Schreiber of Bates’ visit that day in July of 2010. “After that meeting, any reservations or concerns around what was going to happen were gone.”

While Schreiber was originally a commit to Bill Tierney’s Princeton Tigers, he quickly became Chris Bates’ first Princeton recruit. From there, the relationship that started that hot summer day carried through four record-breaking years at Princeton and has been rekindled as player and coach once again in the PLL with the Archers over the past four seasons. 

For Schreiber, everything about that initial meeting provided a foundation for their relationship over the last 13 years. “That really set the stage for who he is as a coach and as a human being,” he says. “That initial impression never waivered. That’s just been him since we first met; somebody who’s going to go out of their way to make sure everything is all good. He’s just a very authentic person. He’s got great ideas on the lacrosse field. But that authenticity, that’s something that sticks out to me and something I’ve learned from him and tried to apply as I’ve started working with kids and the next generation of lacrosse players.” 

For Bates, similar traits about Schreiber have stuck out since day one. “When you interact with Tom, you quickly realize how genuine of a human being he is,” he comments. In fact, to this day, Bates is still good friends with Schreiber’s parents while Bates’ parents hold the Schreiber family in similar regard. 

Beyond the personal element of their first interaction, what stood out for both after that first meeting was a common goal for their time together at Princeton: Win at the highest level. 

Schreiber and Bates’ Time at Princeton

When Schreiber arrived on campus at Princeton in Bates’ second year, he immediately challenged the staff’s blank slate, seniors on top of the depth chart policy to open every season. Bates specifically remembers that “after day one, as a staff we kind of looked at each other and went ‘Hm, we can’t keep him down with the freshman very long.’” 

Following Schreiber’s first shift in his college debut, when he split right to left and stuck the ball past the keeper with his off hand off a dodge, it was obvious there would be little to no adjustment period for the Long Island native. 

That first year, Schreiber was the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Year, a first team All-Ivy selection, and a third team All-American with 29 points. The next year was more of the same with the first of three first team All-American selections. His junior season in 2013 saw Schreiber win the MacLaughlin Award as the top midfielder in the country, and he finished his career as the program’s leading scorer from the midfield with 200 points. 

But, despite all his individual success at Princeton, Schreiber and Bates made the NCAA Tournament just once, losing to Virginia in the first round of the 2012 tournament. 

“Candidly, we didn’t meet all of our goals there,” said Bates of the four years with Schreiber at Princeton. 

Of course, Bates’ time in Princeton saw him endure tragedy with the passing of his wife, and Schreiber was there for it to see his coach and mentor battle through that and the pressure of following the legendary Bill Tierney. “He saw real life,” comments Bates. “We went to war for four years in some tough times and we didn’t have as much success as we would’ve liked. He saw real life unfold in front of him.” 

A Second Chance with the Archers

But, with the founding of the PLL, Bates and Schreiber eyed a second chance for winning together. In fact, while Schreiber was one of the first group of players to start molding the league, he reached out to his former coach to pick his brain on the idea of the new league. And, little did Bates know at the time, that conversation later led to him interviewing and being hired as the first Head Coach of Archers Lacrosse Club, the very team Schreiber joined as well.

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