In 2010 when Bayhawks owner Brendan Kelly made a mid season coaching change he took over the reigns himself. It ended up working out as the team went on to capture the MLL Championship that year. Kelly remained coach in 2011 but in the off season he felt it was best if he focused on being an owner. He hired former Maryland head coach Dave Cottle as head coach. Cottle then put together an All-Star coaching staff. That group is the focus of this week’s Ford Spotlight Feature.
Tag Archives: Legends
Major League Lacrosse: “Inside The MLL” Highlights The “Legendary” Lacrosse Coaching Staff Assembled By Chesapeake Bayhawks (Video)
Legends Of Lacrosse: Former Cornell Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Richie Moran (1969-1997) Talks About His 3 National Championships (’71, ’76, ’77) And Great “Big Red” Teams (Video)
A conversation with former Cornell men’s lacrosse coach Richie Moran, who coached the Big Red from 1969-1997. During that time, Moran won 3 National Championships (1971, 1976, and 1977), had 6 National Championship game appearances, 14 NCAA tournament appearances, 15 Ivy League Championships, 11 undefeated Ivy League seasons, and a 42 game winning streak from 1976-1978. In addition, Moran was a 3 time National Coach of the Year and is in the Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame.
Growth Of Lacrosse: From The Legendary Jim Brown In 1957 To Kyle Harrison, Very Few Black Athletes Choose To Participate In Lacrosse
Far smaller than football both in participation and popularity, lacrosse has struggled to find its way outside the suburbs and prep schools of the country, where the student-athlete population is mainly white.
“For whatever reason, you hear Jim Brown, and then you hear Kyle Harrison, and there’s a big, big, big gap in between those two players,” Woodson said. “So what we want to kind of do is take that gap and bridge it.”
Jim Brown was one of the greatest football players to ever grace the gridiron. But many say he was better at lacrosse.
Brown helped create possibilities for black athletes by playing football and lacrosse at Syracuse University in the mid-1950s, a time when racial integration in collegiate and professional sports was still very much developing. Since Brown, the most recognizable black lacrosse player has likely been current pro Kyle Harrison. The four-time Major League Lacrosse All-Star was the NCAA player of the year as a senior at Johns Hopkins in 2005, nearly 50 years after Brown’s playing days.
Two black lacrosse stars. Five decades apart. Very few like them in between.
Legends Of Lacrosse: The 1988 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships Featured The “Air Gait” Shot In Syracuse-Penn Semifinal (Video)
In the 1988 NCAA lacrosse tournament championship played at Syracuse University, the Orangemen defeated the Cornell Big Red, 13-8 for the first of their three straight NCAA titles. This Syracuse team is notable for being undefeated and for featuring the Gait brothers, Paul and Gary Gait, as well as lacrosse Hall-of-Famer Tom Marechek. It is also significant for being the NCAA tournament where Gary Gait took his famous “Air Gait” shot in a tight semi-final game against University of Pennsylvania. Syracuse won that semifinal game on a goal by Paul Gai with 3 seconds to play.
Lacrosse In The 1960’s: Washington College Men’s Lacrosse Coach Donaldson Kelly Led The Small Maryland College Team Against Navy, Army, Johns Hopkins, And Virginia After A Hall Of Fame, 4-Time All-American Lacrosse Career At Johns Hopkins (Sports Illustrated March 27, 1967)
Throughout the school year they carry lacrosse sticks around the campus of Washington College, flipping the hard rubber ball back and forth as they walk between classes. But spring is the real season for the game, the time of informal practice on the green lawns and serious sessions on Kibler Field. Tiny Washington takes on many of the country’s top lacrosse teams, representing schools many times its size, and in 10 years it has had one losing season. Washington was founded in 1782 at Chester-town, Md., on the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay, and it comprises a handsome collection of rosy-brick, white-framed Colonial buildings, a campus decorated with dogwood and cherry trees and 18th century black-iron lanterns, and a student body of about 600 men and women. If the atmosphere appears easygoing in the pictures on the following pages, there is nothing easy about getting into Washington and staying there; academic standards are high. Half of the 250-odd men take part in intercollegiate competition in at least one of eight sports, but lacrosse is Washington‘s pride, as it is at many schools in Maryland, starting at the grade-school level. At Washington, certainly, that pride is justified.
Lacrosse people talk about a “northern” game and a “southern” game as if there were a divider at the Mason-Dixon line, and the sense of distinction is reinforced by the traditional North-South All Star Game at the end of the season. The northern game tends toward power and combativeness, the southern toward speed and stick work, but in recent years these images have been blurred, if not obliterated, with the steady interchange of players and coaches north and south. Still, reasonable facsimiles of the original types can be found.
On the dirt field of New York City‘s cold Lewisohn Stadium in early spring, for instance, where City College players trip over the raised remains of baseball pitching mounds, teamwork seems to have become a lost—if ever discovered—art. The cheers and jeers of a handful of student rooters are in keeping with the general picture of college lacrosse, northern style: “Whadya gonna do, George, hit ‘im with ya pocketbook?” “Forget the ball, go after him.”
At Washington College, by contrast, the game is played in a treelined valley, on tenderly nursed turf punctuated by shiny orange-netted goalposts and surrounded by freshly whitewashed lines. The wooden grandstand and grassy banks are crowded with middle-aged adults as well as students, and their responses reflect a knowledgeable appreciation of the finesse on the playing field.
It is no wonder that at Washington lacrosse facilities are flawless and the game’s intricacies understood. The school annually fields the best small-college team in the country, emerging frequently at year’s end with a ranking in the nation’s top 10, regardless of classification. Last season Washington won its division (Strobhar) title for the fourth straight time, and three of its players—Bruce Jaeger, Paul Rudolph and Dave Svec, all from Baltimore—were chosen to play for the South in the All Star Game. The South’s coach was Washington‘s
Donaldson Kelly. After his team beat the North 13-5—Jaeger led the scoring with three goals and two assists—Kelly was chosen Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.
In his own playing days at Johns Hopkins, 54-year-old Kelly won 11 varsity letters—in lacrosse, basketball and football—and was a four-time lacrosse All-America. He owns a Chevrolet-Buick agency in Chestertown—which is fortunate, since his monetary rewards as coach are approximately equal to those received by his players—and there are no athletic scholarships at Washington. Kelly’s coaching philosophy is disarmingly simple. “You can’t be tough,” he says. “These boys are not paid for this. You have to make them accept the challenge of playing above themselves. We have always had big schools on our schedule—Navy, Army, Johns Hopkins, Virginia—and I try to make them want to do as well or better than the big ones. Meantime, I just try to teach lacrosse skill.” Many of the large schools on Washington‘s schedule recruit football players for their lacrosse teams. Despite their lack of experience, footballers can quickly learn to play midfield and defense positions, where size and stamina often count for as much as slick skill. Washington does not even have a football program, but this does not faze Kelly. “Bigness isn’t important, as it is in football,” he insists. “In lacrosse it’s all physical ability and smartness.”
Kelly’s star for the next few years is likely to be Attackman Ron Regan, a graduate of Baltimore‘s Boys’ Latin School. (Younger brother Bruce Regan, the best high school player in Maryland in 1966, won a scholarship at Harvard, where he will contribute to the further breakdown of North-South differences.) Ron is the ideal Kelly-type player—fast, shifty and a brilliant stickman. He is surrounded by enough skillful teammates to insure another title for Washington in 1967. This year, too, Don Kelly enjoys the luxury of an official assistant for the first time, former Washington College Defenseman Bob Pritzlaff. Pritzlaff will be paid to coach, but, then, he has to handle wrestling also. Which, in a way, is what the game is all about on the Eastern Shore.
Lacrosse In The 1960’s: The 1966 College Men’s Lacrosse Championship Featured Navy Men’s Lacrosse Defeating Army 16-7 Led By “Coach Willis P. Bilderback And His Merrie Men”(Sports Illustrated June 13, 1966)
It would be easy to assume that Navy’s lacrosse team, which plays like it is almost perfect, is an athletic embodiment of the perfectly regimented and perfectly drilled Naval Academy Midshipmen. Forget it. Last Saturday Navy won its seventh straight national lacrosse championship by defeating Army 16-7, and it did it just the way it has since 1960—by being irreverent, by being boys at play, by being Willis P. Bilderback and His Merrie Men.
Navy won with an overpowering display of strength, depth and tactics, and could hardly have looked more natural doing it. “This just isn’t a normal Academy athletic team,” says Navy’s captain, Owen McFadden. “There is something different about playing lacrosse for Navy.” There certainly seems to be.
When Wayne Hardin’s Navy football teams used to play Army, he would drive the Cadets to distraction with slogans on helmets or other such gimmicks. The lacrosse Midshipmen were up to their own brand of that kind of thing last week as they came to West Point with a national championship at stake. All of them wore Ugly Stickers on their helmets. Ugly Stickers, pictures of terrible monsters, are a whole lot more camp than Wayne Hardin‘s ideas, being obtained for 5 in a bubble-gum pack. And what this country needs is a good 5 Ugly Sticker.
None of this is to suggest that the Navy lacrosse players are some kind of undisciplined crew of athletic bums. It is just that there is more of Mr. Roberts than Horatio Hornblower in them. They are good students and neat, but also very dedicated athletes. Attackman Jimmy Lewis (SI, May 30), who may be the best lacrosse player of this era, was so keyed up about the Army game that he did not even bother to check his grades. “If I fail anything, they’ll let me know,” Lewis said.
The personality of this unusual team can be credited in large part to its coach, Bill Bilderback, and his assistants. The dual Navy lacrosse traditions of winning and laughing both stem from Bilderback. A little, unassuming man, his baggy pants are forever slung too low, enveloping his shoes as he shuffles up and down the sidelines. Yet, with the abdication of Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics, Bilderback‘s seven straight championships is the current record in major athletics. Bilderback did not get a chance to become a head coach until he was 49. Now, at 57, he is the most successful one around. “Bildy’s the only guy I know who’s nice and a winner, too,” Navy Midfielder Howie Crisp said one day.
But Bilderback‘s congeniality is merely a front for his diligence. Scouting Army early this season, he caught pneumonia. He retreated to bed with a high temperature immediately after Navy beat Johns Hopkins, but was up watching game movies a few hours later.
Bilderback has a whole phalanx of assistants who help him with everything, including morale. The senior two of them, Lou (Buster) Phipps and Tommy Dorsey, set the pace for things on the way up to West Point. To loosen up the players at a Howard Johnson‘s stopover, Phipps and Dorsey exploded firecrackers and burned capsules that turn into foul-smelling “snakes.” They also loosened up the other customers. Phipps then donned a Batman helmet, and the team continued north.
The Midshipmen went into Saturday’s game with only a 12-11 loss to the Mount Washington Lacrosse Club marring their record. When Army later beat Mount Washington, hopes were raised that Navy could be upset by Army. Certainly, no one expected the rout that ensued. “It did not even seem like an Army-Navy game,” Lewis said later. “It was so easy.”
The Navy attack, headed by Lewis and McFadden, is one of the strongest in years, and Army decided to gear its defensive game to stopping it. To do so, Coach Jim (Ace) Adams had his defense pick up and pressure the Navy attack-men far out from the goal. Lewis particularly was subject to tight guarding, practically from midfield. By spreading the Navy attack, however, Army also spread its defense through the middle, which any general knows is dangerous.
Jimmy Lewis set the pattern for the game within the first three minutes. Navy was short a man because of a penalty, and Lewis was trying to freeze the ball. Nonetheless, Army double-teamed him. Lewis saw Midfielder Phil Norton breaking free through the middle some 30 yards away. He hit Norton with a pass, who in turn fed McFadden for a score. The weakness in the Army middle had been spotted, and Navy took advantage of it. McFadden’s goal was the only one scored by a Navy attackman until well into the third period. Indeed, the attack shot only five times in the first half, while the midfield was making six goals on nine shots. Lewis himself did not even maneuver into shooting position until Navy was leading 11-3. In all, Navy midfielders scored 11 times, led by sophomore John McIntosh with three goals.
It was ironic that the Navy midfield played such a significant role, for it was Army’s first midfield that was rated as the best in the country. Headed by Captain Frank Kobes, a nine-letter man at West Point, it was the element of the Army team that Bilderback feared most. As it was, Navy simply wore out Army’s best. Navy had used five different mid-fields by early in the second half.
“Teams come to scout us,” says the Rev. Mr. James Lewis, a former All-America and now the resident Friar Tuck on Bilderback‘s staff, “and they write down all the names very carefully. Then, when we play them, all of a sudden we’re running in a new bunch from somewhere.” McIntosh is typical of this. He had scored only two goals prior to the Army game.
McIntosh was cutting a huge devil’s food cake in the locker room after the game. Actually, his birthday was the previous week, but, he said: “I was restricted. I was a bad boy. I threw a firecracker into some guy’s room.”
It is tough to beat the Navy at lacrosse. They have Bilderback, they drink beer after devil’s food cake, they throw firecrackers, and they come through your middle with Ugly Stickers.