Joe Breschi was the head coach of Ohio State’s lacrosse team in 2004, when his 3-year-old, Michael, was fatally struck by an SUV in the parking lot of his preschool. Now the eighth-year head coach at North Carolina, Breschi was back in Columbus today for a national quarterfinal game against national No. 3 seed Notre Dame, vying for the Tar Heels’ first Final Four berth since 1993.
It was a huge game against an imposing program—Notre Dame had been to four Final Fours in six seasons. The morning before they went out to play the Irish, the Tar Heels players dedicated the game to their head coach’s little boy.
Here’s the YouTube version, which cuts away respectfully ...
... and the raw video from nearby.
“Patrick Kelly spoke at breakfast this morning and dedicated the game to my son,” Breschi says there, referencing a senior captain who also has a little brother on the team. “I’m so proud of them. Proud of all of them.”
Breschi, a Carolina alum and a two-time member of the U.S. national team, will get a chance at his first title in nearly 20 years as a head coach next weekend in Philadelphia.