Off the Field with Brendan Sheehan ’16

By Claire McMahon ’16

Men’s lacrosse defender/midfielder Brendan Sheehan ’16 hails from Lincolnshire, Ill., about an hour north of Chicago. The economics-accounting major is a fixture on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, and is gearing up for the spring 2016 season that begins in February. HCM caught up with him as he was working on a research project on the effect of increased access to information on growth of developing countries to learn a little more about this student-athlete. 


HOLY CROSS MAGAZINE  Why did you select Holy Cross? 

BRENDAN SHEEHAN First and foremost, for its reputation of being a phenomenal institution for both academics and athletics. I was also interested in the benefits of a liberal arts education, as well as the opportunity to be educated by the Jesuits. 


HCM  Tell us about your major. 

SHEEHAN  I am an economics-accounting major and I am also concentrating in Asian studies. I chose economics-accounting after taking Financial Accounting my first year. Nothing makes me more excited than having the opportunity to audit public companies and ensure confidence in the American capital markets system. But in all seriousness, I was interested in the topic and the lifelong skill accounting could provide me. I decided to concentrate in Asian studies after taking the Chinese language for a semester and realizing how interesting and relevant Asian culture is today. 


HCM  What has been your favorite class outside your major? 

SHEEHAN  Obviously I love every single class in my major, so I’m glad you asked outside of accounting. Oddly enough my favorite class at Holy Cross was actually my most difficult class: Struggles for Justice and Competing Versions of Freedom with Professor Ed O’Donnell. I wanted to hate the class because of the rigorous course load, intensive reading and writing and seemingly impossible standards for grading, but Professor O’Donnell is such an exceptional scholar that I developed my writing and thinking skills further than I imagined.


HCM  Please tell us a bit about your Maymester in Rome.

SHEEHAN  The Rome Maymester was one of the best experiences of my life. I highly recommend it to anyone at Holy Cross, especially any student-athletes who are unable to go abroad during the school year. Overall, I think exploring foreign countries and cultures is what ultimately made the trip so memorable, but one of my favorite parts of the trip was watching my good friend and teammate’s earnest attempts to assimilate into the Italian culture that often fell short. Though he tried his best, his Italian was below average, let’s say, but he consistently tried to order and strike up conversation in Italian with the locals. It provided constant entertainment, as he kept trying to practice his Italian even when we ventured out to countries such as Hungary and the Czech Republic. 


HCM  What’s your favorite place on campus?

SHEEHAN  Kimball. No doubt. Food and friends all in one place. Not much more I can ask for at this point in my life. 


HCM  You’ll be happy to know, then, that we have a big feature about Kimball in the same issue as this interview. You’ll share pages with the beloved Sis. 

SHEEHAN  I’m not sure if I’m worthy of sharing pages with such a wonderful woman. Sis brightened my day every time I came to Kimball for dinner for three years. Sis will always be remembered for being such a beloved member of the Holy Cross community for her warmth and kindness to all the students who were lucky enough get to know her. Thank you, Sis, and enjoy retirement! 


HCM  Holy Cross student-athletes are known for their service work. What kind of service projects have you been involved in during your four years at the College? 

SHEEHAN  Big Brothers Big Sisters—the whole lacrosse team participates, and everyone has a little brother that they mentor weekly. It’s been a wonderful experience, and I’ve seen the impact more than ever this year. My “Little,” Angel, was never very interested in schoolwork, and basically only wanted to play dodge ball and run around screaming like a wild man. I can’t fault him, I did much of the same when I was 11 (and now, even at my mature age of 22). 

This year though, I showed up for my first day and Angel was not only already working on his math homework (his least favorite subject), but he was also able to help his peers with their homework. He still loves to act like a wild man when we finish homework and mosey on over to the gym, but it was such an eye-opening experience to see that the routine I had instilled in Angel actually has an impact, and is something that he values and succeeds with now. 

Interesting note about Big Brothers Big Sisters at Holy Cross: The team’s involvement with the program started about 15 years ago when a former lacrosse player, John Price ’01, passed away unexpectedly. The team wanted to do something special to remember John, an incredibly selfless and loved member of the community. They decided to reach out to Big Brothers Big Sisters, as this was something John participated in during his time at Holy Cross. We have continued the tradition, and the program, “John’s Brothers,” has continued to expand and flourish since then. 


HCM  If you had a week on campus without classes or practice, how would you spend it?

SHEEHAN  I actually had a week on campus to myself without class or practice this summer, and my time was spent training for lacrosse, assembling my house and spending quality time with my friends. The only thing I might change looking back on that week was our decision to paint the floor of our basement purple. “Bleeding purple” took on a whole different meaning that night when we had a crowd of people over, and the purple paint was no longer on the floor, but on everyone’s shoes. You live and you learn I guess?


HCM  What’s the best advice Coach Lattimore has given you for life off the field?

SHEEHAN  Interesting question, because I would say the best advice Coach Lattimore gave me had nothing to do with lacrosse. Coach Lattimore did an excellent job of explaining the importance of being a man for others from the day he took over as head coach my junior year. He actually has “A Man for Others” painted across the wall of his office in the Hart Center, and he created a culture founded on selflessness, integrity and toughness, which represent our three core principles. Coach Lattimore also posts a quotation of the day on our daily practice plan. I think a recent one does a perfect job of summing up our mindset both on and off the field. It was “don’t find a fault, but find a remedy” from Henry Ford. It’s much easier to find a fault in most cases, but Coach Lattimore demonstrates that finding the remedy without excuses is the best way to approach difficulties in life. 


HCM  This issue reaches our readers just as 2016 begins. Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions you can share with us? 

SHEEHAN  My resolution this year is to take more risks—not to shy away from new or foreign experiences. I’ve noticed that these seem to be the easiest to avoid, yet the best to learn more about yourself. I think this is especially true for someone in my position, as I will be living in a new city, starting a new job working for Deloitte in their audit practice in New York and essentially starting a new life as I transition from the ease of the life of a college student to the real world, employed life.  ■


The men’s lacrosse season kicks off Feb. 13, 2016 at Providence (R.I.). For more information, visit