Washington Galaxy coach Rodney Reagle, looking to fire up his team coming down the stretch, reached into his old bag of tricks.
Last month, Reagle coached a game while wearing cowboy regalia. This time, Reagle took the bench for Tuesday’s game against Michigan dressed as a vampire, complete with slicked-back hair, a three-piece black suit, and a black-and-red cape. Whenever Reagle appeared on the Jumbotron, his appearance was accompanied by the organ riff from “Phantom of the Opera.”
After the game, a 2-1 Washington win, he answered questions during his post-game interview in a Dracula-style accent. “Ve really stuck it to them,” Reagle said. “Ve sunk our fangs in and ve sucked them dry.”
Gray Wolves coach Martin Delorme wasn’t a fan of Reagle’s attire, noting sarcastically, “Someone should tell Rodney that Halloween is not for six more months.”
But Reagle explained that he was just trying to keep things light. “Now’s the time in the season when it really starts to grind,” said the Washington coach. “Those little nicks and bumps you get all through the season start to pile up. Practically everybody’s playing with some kind of injury. You’re exhausted from the travel. The playoffs are close enough that you can feel them, but they haven’t arrived yet. You’ve got to do things to keep it fresh.”
Asked if he felt his penchant for dressing in costume would lead the players not to take him seriously, Reagle replied, “Well, if it does, then I’m not doing my job, am I? I don’t think your authority as a coach hangs on being serious and scowling all the time. You cultivate a relationship with your players, and if it works, it works. If it doesn’t, no outfit in the world is going to change that.”
Reagle added that in his view, the dress code for coaches is too restrictive. “I’m not a clotheshorse,” said Reagle. “Most of the time, my wife picks out my clothes so that I don’t look like a total slob. I don’t buy fancy handmade suits like Martin has. But at least I express my individuality. For most coaches, their idea of going all wild and crazy is wearing a bright orange tie.”
Galaxy RW Jefferson McNeely indicated that the players enjoy Reagle’s costumes. “I know it gets some people’s undies in a knot,” said McNeely. “But the way I think of it, it’s Coach’s way of telling us to relax and have fun out there. He keeps us loose, and that helps us. God bless him and his crazy outfits.”