Gait to Be Introduced as New Syracuse Coach Tuesday

SYRACUSE, N.Y. Syracuse University Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross has announced that former Orange All-American and lacrosse Hall of Famer Gary Gait has been named the second coach in the history of the women's lacrosse program. Gait is a 10-time NCAA champion, having won three titles as player for the Orange (1988-1990) and seven as an assistant women's lacrosse coach at the University of Maryland (1995-2001).

"We continue to bring the best coaches we can find in the world to Syracuse University," Gross said. "Gary has proven that he is one of the best. His being a huge part of seven NCAA titles as a coach at Maryland is remarkable and speaks volumes for his credentials. To have the greatest player to play the game who has had success at every level of coaching leading our program is extraordinary.

"We are beyond thrilled to welcome Gary and his wonderful family back to Syracuse. I am the most happy for our current women's lacrosse team and teams to come. I can't think of a better experience."

Gait has spent the last two seasons as the head coach of the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). In his first two campaigns, he led the Mammoth to two playoff appearances and the 2006 league championship. Gait's professional coaching experience also includes four seasons (2002-05) as player-coach of Major League Lacrosse's (MLL) Baltimore Bayhawks. He won championships there as well, taking home MLL titles in 2002 and 2005.

"I am completely thrilled to have the opportunity to be back at Syracuse and working with the Athletic Department which includes familiar faces like Coach (John) Desko," Gait said. "I'm looking forward to working to take the women's lacrosse program to the next level."

Earlier this year, Gait tasted success coaching on the international level when he led Team Canada to the 2007 World Indoor Championship in May. Gait's squad rolled through the tournament, winning all five of its games, including the championship tilt, 15-14, versus the Iroquois. He currently serves as the head coach of the Canadian men's under-19 team.

As an assistant at Maryland, Gait helped build one of the most impressive dynasties in NCAA history. The Terps compiled a remarkable 164-16 (.911) overall record in his nine years on the staff, including four undefeated seasons (1995, 1996, 1999, 2001) and seven consecutive NCAA championships (1995-01). He coached and recruited some of the greatest players in the history of the women's game, including NCAA career scoring leader and 2001 Tewaaraton Trophy winner Jen Adams, as well as four-time All-American and 1995 National Defensive Player of the Year and 1996 National Offensive Player of the Year Kelly Amonte.

In all, Gait mentored 25 All-Americans and eight players that at one time earned national player of the year honors while at Maryland.

Gait's success as a coach might only be surpassed by his accomplishments as a player. He has won every major collegiate, professional, and international championship in the sport during his career. In addition to his three NCAA championships with the Orange, Gait has won three NLL titles (1991, 1994-95), three MLL titles (2001-02, 2005), three Mann Cups (1991, 1997, 1999), which are awarded to the senior men's lacrosse champions of Canada, the Heritage Cup (2004), which goes to the winner of the international box lacrosse tournament every two years, and the International Lacrosse Federation (ILF) World Championship (2006).

A native of Victoria, British Columbia, Gait and his twin brother, Paul, began their playing careers at Syracuse in 1987. There, under the tutelage of SU head coach Roy Simmons Jr., the duo revolutionized lacrosse, bringing a sense of style and excitement to the game that had never been seen before. At no time was that more evident than in the 1988 national semifinal against Penn at the Carrier Dome when Gary unveiled the "Air Gait," scoring twice by dunking over the top of the goal.

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2007-08-27



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