Offensive Line Coach Rob Orell Excited to Lead and Learn

By: Sam Gordon

Rob Orell showing techniques to players during the 2020 Pirates’ Combine.

Commander of the Massachusetts Pirates offensive line Rob Orell never thought that being a coach was in the cards this early in life.

As he was getting ready to graduate from Nichols College, Orell got an opportunity to play football down in South Carolina for the summer. His phone rang with an offer he did not expect.

“While I was down there, I got a phone call from Nichols asking me if I would be interested in coaching,” Orell told “I never really thought I would be a coach right away, I thought I would be a high school teacher for a bit and then hopefully get into the coaching game. Fortunately, it was put in my lap in a way and I was able to get into it right away.”

As the Nichols running backs coach in 2018, his unit rushed for 1,735 rushing yards which was good enough for third in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Orell was only 23-years-old at the time.

The 25-year-old’s football journey began just a walking distance away from where the Massachusetts Pirates play their home games today.

“I went to a high school in Worcester called Holy Name and I played there,” Orell told said. “I ended going to Nichols college where I played there for four years on the offensive line.”

Orell got his first taste of Pirate football as a fan attending a few games before getting the nudge from Billy Savary that the team was looking for coaching help on the offensive line. Savary, who was Orell’s arena football coach at the time, asked the Nichols alum if he would possibly be interested.

“It was too easy of a question, I don’t think I could have said yes quicker,” Orell said. “I was definitely very excited about that call.”

Orell was grilled by the Pirates coaches to make sure that he was the right choice. The staff realized very quickly that the shoe fit just right.

“I go in that week and meet the staff and I got quizzed a little bit before asking if I could to the game that weekend in Florida,” Orell said. “I told them, ‘Yeah I got nothing to do let’s go.’”

Even with the new year bringing challenges like COVID-19 and the inability to practice, Orell still feels privileged to work with players on the professional level.

The athletes themselves and their resumes are very accomplished,” Orell said. “It’s cool to be able to talk to them and I’m still a young coach so we work together.”

Orell believes that his youth helps him relate to the players and is excited to grow with them

“I’m listening to some of their inner thoughts and experiences,” Orell said. “I’m learning hopefully just as much as I am teaching them. The players coach me as well and help me get better.”