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Longtime Maryland assistant will not be retained

When Maryland returns for the 2011 season, another familiar face will not be standing on the sideline.

Defensive coordinator Dave Slafkosky confirmed Wednesday that he has not been retained by incoming head coach John Tillman. Slafkosky, who has spent the last 26 years under former Terps coaches Dick Edell and Dave Cottle, said Tillman is bringing Kevin Warne, Tillman’s defensive coordinator at Harvard for the past three years.

"So I’m out the door," Slafkosky said. "In fact, today is my last day. I’m out there looking for another job. It could be interesting. I haven’t done this in a long time. I had a pretty long career at Maryland. I was hoping to end it there, but I guess those plans won’t work out that way."

Slafkosky joins Cottle as former Terps. Cottle stepped down as head coach on May 16, one day after No. 3 seed Maryland was upset by unseeded Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

A former Johns Hopkins midfielder who helped the Blue Jays capture the 1974 national championship in his senior year, Slafkosky said he wasn’t shocked by Tillman’s decisions, which also includes retaining assistant coach Ryan Moran.

"Twenty-seven years ago when they hired Dick Edell [from Army where Edell and Slafkowsky began working together], I came down with him," Slafkosky said. "That’s how the cycle goes. I’m really glad they kept Ryan. I would’ve loved to have been the other guy, too, but out of all the young guys I’ve worked with, I think he’s going to be a heck of a lacrosse coach. I think John made the right decision there."

Under Slafkosky, the defense finished the 2010 season ranked ninth in Division I, surrendering just 8.4 goals per game. The Terps also ranked first in the country in caused turnovers, forcing 11.4 per contest.

Slafkosky said he doesn’t know what’s in store for him for the immediate future. His youngest son Alex, a defenseman, finished his freshman year at Maryland, and Slafkosky, who lives in Catonsville, said he prefers to stay within the area.

Slafkosky said he is planning to interview for an undisclosed vacant Division III position and could coach on the high school level, but after that, the future is uncertain.

"I don’t know. I’ve got a couple things, but nothing definite," he said. "I talked about something a week ago, but nothing happened. I guess it was bad luck talking about what I had hoped to do. I’m lucky. I’ve had so many people call me up and try to push for me. And I tell them, ‘Don’t push that hard.’ Sometimes if you get too many people pushing, people back off."

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:00 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Maryland


I completely respect John Tillman's decision to bring in his own staff, but this development is too bad for Terp lacrosse. Coach Slaf is a great coach (especially a great defense coach) and a better person. Maryland's problems this past season were not on the defensive end of the field; the highly touted offense disappeared often. Jeff Shirk should be waiting on Slaf's doorstep, trying to bring him to Washington College. That would do the Sho'men a lot of good.

Maryland is losing a great coach and and even better person. Dave Slafkosky went out of his way to help the lacrosse community, particularly young coaches. I was at a coaching clinic once and he gave out his email address; I wrote to him later that day to inquire about something he spoke about, and he emailed me back within an hour.

Coach-- you are the glue which helped keep it together and moving forward under two coaches at College Park. Many thanks, and congrats on out-lasting the most recent AD :-)

Coach Slaf is one of the true good guys in the business , , , And a great coach. Hoping that someone out there gives him a job.

Outstanding coach......outstanding person .....a father on the field..... most important an honest ,hard working ,very loyal...........CLASSY GENTLEMAN........

Letting Coach Slafkosky go sucks -

Its a shame they are letting Coach Slafkosky go. Hopefully Tillman is bringing in a better man, because Slafkosky was great.

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About Faceoff
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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