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Gait no longer in the running for Maryland vacancy

When Dick Edell stepped down as head coach after the 2001 season, a good number of Maryland alumni lobbied athletic director Debbie Yow to hire Gary Gait, the former Syracuse All-American attackman and assistant coach for the women’s lacrosse team.

The disappointment was palpable when Yow went with former Loyola coach Dave Cottle.

That emotion repeated itself Thursday when Gait took his name out of the running for the current Terps head coaching vacancy.

According to a press release distributed by Syracuse where Gait is the head coach of the women’s lacrosse team, Gait told Maryland’s search committee that he will remain with the Orange.

"I bleed Orange," Gait said in the release. "Syracuse is the right place for me and my family. There’s no better place to be, especially with the support we receive from Chancellor Nancy Cantor and [athletic director] Dr. Daryl Gross. I look forward to continuing to build the Syracuse women’s lacrosse program and take it to a national championship. I appreciate being considered for the Maryland position. The alumni have been very supportive."

In three seasons at Syracuse, Gait has guided the program to a 47-15 record, two Final Four berths in three NCAA Tournament appearances, two Big East regular-season titles and one Big East Tournament crown.

Gait, who helped the Orange capture NCAA championships in 1988, 1989 and 1990, was considered by some to be the leading candidate to replace Cottle. Cottle – who compiled a 99-45 mark in nine seasons with the Terps, guided the team to eight straight NCAA Tournament appearances, and posted seven consecutive years of 10 wins or better – was scheduled to interview for the Penn State vacancy on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:06 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Maryland


Yow has done some great things as Maryland's AD, but picking Cottle over Gary Gait back then was just plain stupid. Imagine the recruiting power with Gait as Maryland's coach. It would be like having Michael Jordan coaching a college team.

Regardless, I'm glad to see Cottle gone. Friedgen next!


Any takers? Next!!!

Why does Berkman from Salisbury not even receive consideration?

Ed: When I have talked to him in the past about moving to Division I, Jim Berkman has told me that he enjoys coaching at Salisbury. Plus, I think his daughter is playing for the women's lacrosse team there, and he has strong ties to the community. He might not want to leave.

If Debbie would have made the right selection 9 years ago Maryland would have been a perrenial power.

Gait obviosly has issue's about coaching Maryland? He either still has a grudge about being passed over for Cottle or beleives Cottle was somehow treated unfairly?

I beleive it's a little of both and he's too much of a coward to admit it! He would rather coach Syracuse's women's team than Maryland's men's???

Unless he was promised by Syracuse to be the next mens head coach in a couple of years I do not buy the bleeding orange BS!

He may also be afraid he can't cut it at Maryland because of the high expectations that go with the job? If this is true or even partly true he made the right decision!

Stick with the girls Gary! It suits you!


Hey Mike, Maryland screwed the pooch once before with Cottle over Gait. I believe that Gait would rather stay at his Alma Mater and develope the girls into national champs than to coach at a school " with such high expectations that go with that job" Good luck getting a quality coach, Maybe the Northwestern woman's coach should take the job!

I always get a kick out of the elitist attitude in the mid-atlantic states, even at the state universities. High expectations at Maryland? There would be no greater pressure in the collegiate lacrosse arena then to replace John Desko at Syracuse University. I’m sorry the terps don’t realize us folks up north can be pretty loyal to our alma maters too. Hey Flynn, my best memory: SU defeating the terps for the national championship in 1995, the same day my eldest child was born! Two great wins for me! Everyone knows that a poorly timed timeout in the first half of the 2010 first round game with army negated a Jovan Miller goal and cost SU a win in regulation. If that hadn’t happened, a three-peat was assured. Duke didn’t stand a chance. I know. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. But how close did you guys really come? Notre Dame? Really. Syracuse crushed them at notre dame this year.


When I graduated from Maryland in 1976, the only team that was a real threat was Hopkin's. I can't recall ever losing to Syracuse in those day's?

The game has changed; a lot of time has passed and I have witnessed the Terp's going from an elite program to one that chokes in the tournament almost every year? If you knew anything about Maryland fans they are the furthest thing frome being disloyal, elitest or unfair.

Cottle had more than a fair chance and I doubt that Syracuse would have renewed his contract given the same conditions. I doubt that Gait would have turned down a job offer from almost any other major mens program to coach the Syracuse women?

I have no bones to pick with Syracuse. It's a good school with a great lacrosse tradition. But; don't try and lecture me or any other "Old Turtle" that Maryland doesn't have what it takes to be great because we know better!


Syracuse would never have extended Cottle an offer in the first place, because he is not an alumnus. What you need is an alumnus who has the talent and desire to resurrect your program. Just as Syracuse, Hopkins, UNC, Loyola, etc., have done. Gait would be a marque addition, but (no disrespect to him) would he truly have the commitment to remain with the program for the ten plus years that it would demand and deserve?

My issue with you was how dismissive you were about the loyalty he declared for SU. He owes SU just as much as we owe him and Paul. I'll tell you one thing. He better "bleed orange," or he better get the hell out. I'm just as loyal to SU as you are to the Terps. We deserve that commitment and respect, women's team or not.

I sense your hostility was due to a perceived lack of respect by him for Maryland. I can't imagine him feeling that way. Everyone up here was impressed that you would want him, even though we were keenly aware of the past relationship he had with the U of M.

I will agree that SU did not beat the terps in the 70's. But that was before Desko stepped on campus as a student athlete, then grad assistant, paid assistant and eventual head coach. SU's success is clearly traced to his involvement and that of Coach Donahue. Now with Lelan Rogers as defensive coordinator, they will continue to be a force.

Those admirable and hard won eleven national championships are because of Desko and Donahue. Not Simmons Jr.. You need you're own Desko, and you will find him. Just demand that the right people are on the search committee.

By the way, I would have greatly prefered to see the Terps hoist the national championship trophy this year then Duke or ND. Believe me.

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Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.

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