Rutter’s Return to Rockville Lacrosse


Photo courtesy of Jesse Rutter

Varsity lacrosse head coach Jesse Rutter (’06) (center) initially coached varsity football but then moved to lacrosse which he played at RHS.

Emily Tran, Staff Writer

What started out as a mere interest in a sport has guided this player back to where it all began 10 years ago to continue his lacrosse career as a coach. From the first time picking up a lacrosse stick at the age of 14, he quickly began breaking high school records.

Lacrosse isn’t just a sport for English teacher and boys varsity lacrosse head coach Jesse Rutter (‘06); it’s a passion. Rutter spent all four years of his high school career as a midfielder on the boys varsity lacrosse team at RHS. During his four seasons, Rutter’s achievements included being named in the 3A-2A-1A All-County Team, being named Team MVP and setting the record for highest single season goals at the time.

Coaching a sport had always been a lifelong desire for Rutter, but he never imagined that it would lead him back to his old high school lacrosse team, he said. After graduating, Rutter attended West Virginia University where he continued playing lacrosse for their club team. After college, he went on to teach at Rosemont Elementary School.

On a casual night, roughly five years ago, Rutter came back to watch an RHS basketball game with his friends where he met with athletic director Michael Hayes.

“Originally, I was working at an elementary school in MCPS and I was just going back to school, getting my master’s [degree] and I wanted to teach. I actually ran into Mr. Hayes randomly and he asked me if I wanted to help coach so that’s how I got back to Rockville,” Rutter said.

Hayes was Rutter’s former teacher during his time at RHS and was excited to hear that Rutter was back and teaching in the school system. Upon their reunion at the basketball game, Hayes immediately asked Rutter to join the RHS Athletics Department.

“I just think anytime you get an alumni back is great. I think alumni sometimes have extra passion because they want their school and alma mater to do well and he was such a good kid. So if you could get good people to work together, it’s just a success,” Hayes said.

Rutter not only focuses on coaching the sport, but he also makes sure to create strong bonds with the kids that he coaches. Senior boys varsity lacrosse player Aidan Kalinock shares a deep bond with Rutter and has known him ever since he was a child. Kalinock has played lacrosse for Rutter for the past three years, giving them the opportunity to build and strengthen their bond.

“Coach Rutter and I have such a close bond because he knew me since I was born and he grew up on the same street as me. I truly got to know him when he coached me in high school and he’s been like a father figure for me,” Kalinock said.

Rutter initially took a coaching job at RHS five years ago, starting out coaching varsity football for a couple of years, then girls varsity lacrosse for one year and finally boys varsity lacrosse for the last three years; all three seasons have ended in winning records.

“I think going through college and just knowing that eventually my playing days might come to an end, I definitely still wanted to be around the game and keep the competitive spirit and that competitive edge,” Rutter said. “I didn’t always know it was going to be lacrosse specifically, but I knew I always wanted to be a coach and stay up with athletics.”

In the future, Rutter hopes to continue growing the lacrosse program to make it accessible to student athletes within RHS and to build the program where they can be successful in whatever they try to accomplish after high school, he said.

From being a player on the team to becoming the coach of that team, Rutter has come full circle in his lacrosse career and it shows through his techniques and motivations.

“It’s really exciting just to see how far the sport has come and how far the school and county has come in terms of its support for lacrosse and it just gives you that extra motivation to be like ‘I played here, you know this is my school too,’” Rutter said. “I think it helps the kids kind of believe in what you’re doing a little more and it shows that you really care about what you’re doing too, so it’s definitely amazing.”