Celebrating Bryan Botti ‘12: Coach Jeff Shirk Remembers Student For Leadership and Friendship

By Brian Klose

Sports Editor

On Sept. 7, the Washington College community received the tragic news of the passing of Bryan Botti, Class of 2012. Botti was struck by a taxicab in Philadelphia on Sept. 7 and died later that day at Hahnemann University Hospital. He was 25 years old.

Botti, who earned a degree in business management, was a star lacrosse player for the Shoremen from 2009 to 2012. After graduation, Botti worked as a senior operations associate at Brown Advisory, an investment managing firm in Baltimore, Md. He is remembered for his authority on the field and kindness off the field.

“He was a very good lacrosse player that was nasty on the field,” said men’s lacrosse head coach Jeff Shirk. Shirk coached Botti’s final two seasons. “He would get after guys and was really competitive. He was also the nicest guy. He would be on the field, he would be intense. As soon as he would come off the field, he would have this huge smile. I don’t think he had a bad bone in his body unless he was on the lacrosse field.”

Botti, a defender, hailed from Hereford, Md. and attended Hereford High School before playing for the Shoremen. During his four seasons at WC, he played in 57 games, scooped up 73 ground balls, and had 36 caused turnovers, including a team-best 16 in 2010. Botti was a team captain in his junior and senior years, and his experience and leadership greatly affected the team and his community.

“He really rubbed off on his teammates. He was the kind of guy that was friends with everybody,” said Shirk. One of Botti’s most well-received qualities was his infectious positivity and joy. “I can’t help but smile when I think about Bryan. The legacy that he left was such a happy legacy. When you think of Bryan, you smile.”

Shirk fondly remembers his first impressions of Botti as he was interviewing for the head coaching position in 2010. “It was a very stressful and intimidating day, and everybody was really welcoming and asking great questions, but I kept being drawn to Bryan. Bryan had the welcoming face. He’s the one that made me feel comfortable,” said Shirk.

On the field, Botti was the glue that kept the team’s defense together, both mentally and physically. “It was his senior year, and we were playing at Salisbury,” said Shirk. “Salisbury jumped all over us early. We were down 5-1 at the end of the first quarter. We were playing defense the entire quarter and the wheels were falling off. Bryan runs over with a big smile on his face and says, ‘Guys, we’re only down 5-1. What’s everybody freaking out about?’ He had that ability to always look at the positive. He said that in the huddle and that relaxed the coaching staff. His demeanor put things into perpsective. That’s my biggest memory of him from a lacrosse standpoint.”

After graduating in 2012, Botti continued to have a major impact on his team. “He was part of the upperclass group that turned this program around. He and his classmates established their legacy as an alum while they were here, and Bryan came back for everything. Whatever it was, alumni games and events, Bryan was coming back. His legacy shows how he pulled his guys together and stayed a part of something,” said Shirk. “Our goal now is to keep that alive. I compare Bryan to a Charlie Maloney who was always around the team. There’s a need for us to keep him alive.”

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