Michael Bellotte, who is entering his 1st season at Harford Community College, is no stranger to the sidelines. Bellotte has coached at multiple levels of the sport for over two decades and his teams have always achieved at a high level both on and off the field of play.
In 2015 Essex lost in the National Championship. In 2016 Bellotte’s Defense was number 1 in the Nation with a Goals Against Average of less than 5 goals per game and lost in the National Semi-Finals. Bellotte’s run at Essex has produced 5 Division 1 scholarship defenseman, 2 Division 1 Goalie’s and 1 U19 World Team Goalie.
Bellotte previously coached at Severna Park High School and The Calverton School in Maryland. His 5 year run at SPHS saw the Falcons rise from a midlevel achiever to 3 State Championship appearances in 5 years winning the Schools 1st ever 4A/3A State Championship in 1999.
Accomplishments while at Severna Park:
- Compiled a 74–20 overall record
- • 3 4A/3A East Region Titles
- • 3 Anne Arundel County Championships
- • 1999 named Baltimore Sun and Capital Gazette Coach of the Year
- • 2003 named Baltimore Sun, Washington Post and Capital Gazette Coach of the Year
- • Multiple All-County, All State and High School All Americans
- • 3 US World Team Players from Severna Park HS — Mitch Belisle, Ben Hunt, Dan Burns
- • Establishing a consistent flow of players that not only contributed, but excelled at the College, Professional and World Team level.
- Bellotte coached two seasons at the Calverton School alongside Head coach Jonathan Montes. Bellotte coached the defense and goalies on teams that went a combined 28 and 6 over the two year period winning two MILL Championships. He was also instrumental in the recruiting efforts and running a club program developing young players in the local community.
- Before, during and after his High School coaching experience Bellotte has been involved in Anne Arundel County Lacrosse in both recreation and club level coaching. Over the past 25 years Bellotte has been involved in Annapolis with PAL/AYLA recreation as a head coach and board member, Severna Park Green Hornets as a head coach and youth commissioner, HEROs Lacrosse as a Board Member, SPLAX Club Founder and a Coach, and Skills trainer with the Annapolis Hawks.
- As a student Athlete Bellotte played his High School and College lacrosse here locally in Maryland. At St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis he was a 3 year Varsity letter winner for head Coach Jim Moorehead. After High School he played at Loyola College in Baltimore for Head Coach Dave Cottle and played 1 year at Anne Arundel Community College for Head Coach Buddy Beardemore, where he was a Team Captain. While at AACC Bellotte was named All Region XX as a defensive player and recognized as an NJCAA Academic All-American.
- Coach Bellotte has been married for 24 years to his wife, Laura, and has two children, Jake (22) and Kalli (18). The family resides in Severna Park, MD where he is Mortgage Originator/Branch Manager for Citizen One Home Loans.
The PRLB had a chance to ask coach Belotte a few questions about his new job.
1. Why HarfordCC?
Bellotte: I am a firm believer in JUCO education and opening doors to further education. I am the product of a JUCO education (actually all of my brothers had stops a JUCO; and we have all done very well. It is cost effective way to manage college debt which is completely out of hand for most careers post college. There are several JUCO opportunities in Maryland, I think Harford has the best all around set up. The local housing market allows the students from other areas to live off campus with out paying city prices. Its also a very safe community, which is important when you are sending 18 — 19 year old kids away from home. So, cost, environment and opportunity. Athletically, I just felt like the staff that Coach Verardi has assembled is the best all around fit for me as a coach and for the players that I talk to over the course of any given year.
2. They have to be doing something special for you to come coach all the way from Anne Arundel County to Harford County, correct?
Bellotte: Its all about Value. I am a straight up volunteer. I personally value the opportunity to work with and mentor young people. Its in my DNA. Its part of my “why?” in life. I was lucky enough to play for some great coaches at : C. Mason “Daffy” Russell (St. Mary’s), Jim Moorhead (St. Mary’s), Buddy Beardemore (AACC) and Dave Cottle (Loyola). Everyone of these guys instilled in me a love for the game and the importance of passing it on to the next group coming along.
3. You’ve coached at the high school level and the junior college level, what’s it about the JUCO level that you enjoy the most?
Bellotte: Working with young people that are there for various reasons, to obtain a common goal. Education and moving on to the next level. There are many reasons for JUCO stops. Its not just Grades. I have seen plenty of 3.5’s and 4.0’s in my time at JUCO. Some kids have issues at home, some its financial, some may have gotten tripped up at another level and need to get a re-tread to get back in the game. They all matter to me and they all matter to every coach at Harford. That’s why I am there.
4. What’s the biggest misconception about JUCO lacrosse?
Bellotte: Its only for kids who don’t have grades or talent to play elsewhere. Simply not true.
5. What’s the goal this year for HarfordCC MLax?
Bellotte: for me personally, I want to help someone get somewhere that they may not have gotten without our help on the field and off the field. I want the young men that are here to move on to 4 years schools with the foundation, skills and work ethic to be successful both in the classroom and on the field. For the program that has had some big wins in the past on the field. I think its time to take the next steps in Region XX and on the National stage. It can be done, 1 game at a time. By getting better everyday and getting everyone playing to their potential.