Athlete Profile: Mike Kutsick


Courtesy Mike Kutsick

Athlete Profile: Mike Kutsick

By Copy Editor

FRESHMAN BUSINESS & Entrepreneurship major Mike Kutsick passed up opportunities to play collegiate football as an offensive tackle, offensive guard or defensive tackle to attend Columbia, but he still managed to feed his inner athlete by starting a men’s lacrosse team.

The Renegades lacrosse co-captain won three varsity letters for football and one for lacrosse in high school. He began playing lacrosse as a high school freshman and is currently recruiting additional players for the Renegades lacrosse team as well as establishing a women’s team.

The Chronicle spoke with Kutsick over the phone about playing lacrosse for the first time, bringing the sport to Columbia and his team goals.

THE CHRONICLE: Why did you start playing lacrosse in high school?

MIKE KUTSICK: I played football and I wanted to find something that would keep me active on the field during the offseason. Lacrosse looked fun and I knew the coach, and he said I have a good size for a goalie position.

CC: What was your experience like on the high school team?

MK: At first, I came on the field not knowing what the sport even was. I saw a stick,I saw a ball and I saw guys in shoulder pads and helmets running, throwing and hitting each other. I was like, “I could try to figure this out.” I was a goalie, so I could move the stick really easily, really quickly and get a lot of shots.

CC: Did you have a rough start the first time you played?

MK: There was a little bit of a rough start. A lot of the guys playing [my] freshman year played throughout middle school and the peewee version of lacrosse. They’re a little rough, but once you’re in, you’re good. They just make sure it’s a little harder the first year you play. They’ll hit you with shots—they’ll hit you on purpose just to mess with you—but it got a lot better.

CC: How does lacrosse compare to other contact sports?

MK: I would compare it to football. It’s a harder sport. It’s not like the game really stops except when somebody scores a goal, but then that’s only stopping for a little bit. It’s a really fast sport. It goes by like a football game would go, just one after the other, quick firing.

CC: What motivated you to form a team at Columbia?

MK: I was a big football player. Seven years of football—I loved the sport, but knowing Columbia, you can’t have a football team. It would be a terrible idea. I was talking to some other guys and they said they played lacrosse in high school and I thought a team would be great. It’s an easier team to start. There’s a league we can get into. It’ll keep people active because in college, it’s a little harder to stay active unless you’re dedicated to something. It would be a great opportunity to meet a bunch of new guys and go out and have fun. It’s a serious sport, but it’s also [something] we want to do. We’re not going to make it anywhere with the sport—we’re doing it because we love the sport.

CC: What sets your team apart from previous Renegades lacrosse teams?

MK: The previous teams were, from what I heard, a little less disciplined. They didn’t last because the leadership was not there. [When] the captains graduated, the team was gone because nobody wanted to take over the role. A lot of the guys I’ve been working with are dedicated.Everyone is ready to go. I’m going to find somebody and train them for the leadership needed for the next three years for when I graduate. It’s going to hopefully keep going. When they get the reason to keep it going and they just love it, [that will] set it apart.

CC: What do you think this team will do for Columbia’s athletics?

MK: A lot of people don’t know a lot about the sports program. I think [people] will see that athletics are here to stay.