If you mention his name to anyone on the campus of Wheaton College, you are bound to provoke an interesting response. He is the charismatic, passionate, and red-haired, Patrick Crane ’14.
A double major in Psychology and Anthropology during his time at Wheaton, Crane was a driven student-athlete who devoted plenty of his time to the Wheaton Men’s Lacrosse team. During his final year at Wheaton, Crane was presented an offer to continue with lacrosse overseas. Instead of playing, Crane is now coaching the game in Manchester, England working for the English Lacrosse Association as a Development Officer.
“It has been a great experience so far. Moving to a new country is a jarring experience, but the support structure I had coming over here with ELA and the hospitality of the people in the UK that I’ve met have made it an easy transition,” said Crane.
Originally from Vernon, Connecticut where he attended Rockville High School before attending Wheaton, Crane now finds himself on an entirely different continent working with a sport that originated in North America. He has been living in Manchester for the past month, working specifically with the Timperley Lacrosse Club. His job has been to grow the game of lacrosse by teaching it in primary schools while at the same time coaching in their top league.
Before Manchester, Crane coached the Connecticut Cardinals since his freshmen year of college. His passion for lacrosse is apparent and he receives so much satisfaction out of helping young lacrosse players. “I can already see just how much of an affect coaching has had on me already,” said Crane. “There are very few things in the world that are more satisfying than the look of a young player finally having a “light bulb” moment where they understand a certain technique or play and then they come over to you on the sideline and want to share that moment.”
Crane works under his Program Manager, Sarah Baron, who has helped him get adjusted and situated in Manchester. “She coordinates the schools and clubs that I work at and checks up on myself and the other Timperley LDO’s weekly,” said Crane. “She has been an incredible resource so far and takes great care of myself and the other Americans.”
Crane remains hopeful with continuing with the sport of lacrosse whether it may be coaching or even playing. He has played since the 7th grade and after ten years, he has no intentions of stopping. “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with young people about the game of lacrosse and starting my own playing career over here,” said Crane.
As a Wheaton Lyon, Crane played during a time of transition when the program was built under a new coaching staff in his sophomore year. “It was a pleasure and privilege to be a part of the drive to mold Wheaton Lacrosse into a perennial power and I like to think that during my 3 years with Coach Lockard, I saw the team take massive steps toward that goal,” said Crane.
Every time Crane stepped on the field representing his school, he absolutely gave it his all. “Pat’s hard work and dedication to both his academics and athletics is something I try to model myself after,” said former teammate S Joon Suh ’15. “Not only was he fundamentally sound and a student of the game of lacrosse, but Pat found ways to help the team both while playing and while being on the sideline. The man has a work ethic I still aspire to have.”
“Throughout my time as a Lyon I just tried to play as hard as I could and bring my love of the game to the field every time I stepped on it,” said Crane.
Some memorable moments for Crane involved beating Eastern Connecticut State University at home his sophomore year as well as setting a record for the number of program wins in a single season with an 11-5 record. “I was a part of some incredible moments as a Lyon, and I graduated in May confident that I had left my mark on the program and that it was a team headed in the right direction both on and off the field,” said Crane.
In the classroom, Crane’s passion and dedication still remained present. He was a Dean’s List student who never held anything back when working on academics and with lacrosse. “Patrick Crane impressed me with the focus and dedication he put towards writing his anthropology senior thesis on how social class impacts urban development in New England,” said Professor Torres, who served as his advisor in the Anthropology department. “He put so much of himself into that piece of research and it was so gratifying to see him produce a piece that was simultaneously deeply engaged with anthropology and with the community he grew up in.”
Crane’s advisor in the Psychology department, Professor Berg, also expressed the pleasure he had to work with Crane. “Patrick is driven, focused, and has extremely high expectations for himself,” said Professor Berg. “He was a wonderful student to work with and I value how much passion he has for everything he does.”
Once Crane returns to the states, he plans on working for a few years before returning to school to get his MBA. “I love my fields of Anthropology and Psychology, and want to apply them towards traditional business models to see how I can make them more efficient and satisfying for all involved,” said Crane.
One of the reasons he chose Wheaton for his undergraduate was because of how supportive the school was with his goal of being a double major while playing lacrosse. “They actively did everything they could to make that a reality,” said Crane.
He believes Wheaton is a very unique place like no other he has come across before. “In every interaction I had at Wheaton, whether it was with a student, a professor, someone who worked at Emerson, or a member of our cleaning staff, I always felt like I was part of a truly special community and its something that you really come to appreciate once you leave Wheaton,” said Crane.
Crane’s devotion to academics and lacrosse has actually been parallels. Lacrosse has taught Crane a lot about life off of the lacrosse pitch. It has taught him the values of hard work and persistence, which are traits that helped him complete his thesis in anthropology at Wheaton. On a social standpoint, the sport helped him make friends and experiences that he will cherish for a very long time. Lacrosse also presented him with the opportunity to travel the world as he currently resides and works in the United Kingdom.
While Crane remains in Manchester for the time being, he is writing about his trip to England on a blog titled, “Trading USA for the ELA: My Year in England” at http://elaforusa.blogspot.co.uk.
“I was given so much through this sport, more than anything I could have ever imagined,” said Crane. When the chance to give back came up, I jumped at the chance and it really has given me so much joy. Coaching also made me a better leader and communicator, something that I will apply in all of my future jobs.”