“Lacrosse Will Definitely Be in My Life”: Whipsnakes Goalie Brian Phipps Retires After 13 Seasons
By Adam Lamberti | Nov 8, 2023
The 35-year old was the oldest active player in the PLL alongside Chrome’s Mike Manley. There were hints at Phipps retirement throughout 2023 as Phipps’ contract was set to expire at the end of this season.
“I think where I am in my career and the changes I’m experiencing, having a second daughter in December, wanting to make sure I was around more in the summertime,” Phipps said. “Just the toll on my body of trying to stay in shape got a little harder once you turn 35.”
Entering the league in 2011, Phipps was a steady presence in cage for both the Ohio Machine and Chesapeake Bayhawks. He was an All-Star in his first season before being named an All-Star again in 2016 and 2017. Phipps anchored a Bayhawks defense that won a title in 2019 before joining the Whipsnakes in 2021.
Phipps finest PLL moment came when he was inserted as the second-half starter of the 2021 Quarterfinals against the Redwoods after starter Kyle Bernlohr was pulled. The Whipsnakes came from behind to win that game behind Phipps’ 6 saves, and he went on to start the semifinals and then the Championship game, where the Whips ultimately fell to the Chaos.
Not only a reliable and durable goalie during his professional career, Phipps also brought value to the Whipsnakes when he wasn’t on the field.
“Brian brings some unbelievable leadership to our team, and he's amazing for me in particular as a great resource on the sideline and sees the games like having another coach on our staff,” said Head Coach Jim Stagnitta of Phipps back in July.
Phipps’ knowledge and love of the game shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. He’s the former head coach of Archbishop Spalding in Severn, MD and co-founder of the Goalie Performance School. While Phipps has taken some time off of coaching to be with family and pursue other career paths, there’s no doubt Phipps will be away from the game for long.
“Lacrosse will definitely be in my life,” Phipps said. “Talking with Coach Stagnitta and potentially helping out with [the Whipsnakes] or kind of down the road seeing myself hopefully getting back in the PLL on the sideline.”