Dave Cottle will no longer be the head coach at the University of Maryland. The Men's Lacrosse program will have to find a new coach for the 2011 season.
After 9 seasons and a 99-45 (.688) record, Cottle will not resume his coaching duties, after his contract ended this year...in disappointing fashion, losing in the NCAA Quarterfinals to Notre Dame, 7-5 as the #3 seed. He led the Terrapins to a 12-4 record this year, including an 1-2 mark in ACC play with an appearance in the conference championship game (where they lost to UVA for the 2nd time this year).
Taken from umterps.com:
"I have decided to step down as head coach at the University of Maryland," said Cottle. "I would like to thank Dr. Mote and Dr. Yow for the opportunity to coach at Maryland and in the Atlantic Coast Conference. I have enjoyed my nine years at Maryland. This season, I enjoyed coaching this team as much as any team I have ever been around. I have developed tremendous relationships with many Terp alumni, former coaches and have had some of the finest parents any lacrosse program has had."
Coming into the season, there was a ton of pressure on Cottle. It was widely assumed that if he didn't make it back to the Final Four, he would not have his contract renewed. The road to Baltimore looked really good after an 11-8 win over Hofstra in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but Maryland couldn't find the offense to get past the Fighting Irish. Just another example for the critics of how Cottle couldn't win the big one.
Ironically, Notre Dame's head coach, Kevin Corrigan, is on the long list of potential replacements. The other top candidates according to reporting done by the Washington Post include:
Mike Pressler - U.S. national team head coach; coached at Duke as well, but was forced to resign after the 2006 rape allegations of 3 players...which was proven false.
Gary Gait - finalist for the job after Dick Edell left (when Cottel was hired in 2001); primarily coached women's lacrosse including a stint with the Maryland's Women Program in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
I think Cottle has done a great job during the 2 years that I have covered the Men's Lacroose team. He really cares about his players and I think they care about him as well. It was definitely a positive relationship and his team always played with the most heart. Effort as never an issue.
However, with the kind of talent that Maryland gets through recruiting in the middle of the hotbed for lacrosse, it is quite shocking that the 2010 seniors are just the 2nd class in Maryland history to not make at least 1 Final Four in their time in College Park.
I wish him the best of luck in the future. I hope the new coach is ready for the kind of pressure that will be over his head constantly at UMD. And if all the pieces fall into place, the new coach will be able to take a talented group, and lead them back to the promised land. Go Terps!