The COLLEGE CROSSECAST Decade in Review series is back and this time we’re talking about the master strategists, playcallers, and recruiters in the sport. That’s right, we’re breaking down the best head coaches in NCAA Men’s Lacrosse through the 2010’s.
I’m joined by Jake once again as we come up with the top coaches in the game throughout the decade. We look at how they built up their programs, adjusted on the fly, and much more to decide who’s the best of the best. In the end, we agreed that you shouldn’t count out Touchdown John Danowski, but that won’t take away anything from the other coaches on the list.
1:30- Coaches in discussion
31:30- Listen to find out
40:20- Listen to find out
50:13- We ain’t doing spoilers
58:23- I mean, unless Jake edits this and does a full writeup
1:05:29- But I’m not
1:13:30- John Danowski
Coach of the Decade: John Danowski
The numbers simply speak for themselves. Three national championships, more than any other coach. Seven Final Fours, tied for the most. 22 NCAA Tournament wins, tied for the most. Arguably the best individual team of the decade in 2014. Producing talent such as College Crosse All-Decade First Team member Myles Jones, Second Teamers Jordan Wolf and Deemer Class, other incredible talents such as Ned Crotty and Justin Guterding. Duke had already made three straight Final Fours under Danowski heading into the decade, and he kept that up with five more consecutively, including an unparalleled run this decade of three titles in five years and back to back championships in 2013-14. Championships, consistency, talent produced, however you want to look at it, no one did it better in the 2010’s than John Danowski
Runner-up: John Tillman
There’s a very good argument to be made Tillman should be the Coach of the Decade himself. When he took over Maryland in 2010, the program hadn’t been to Championship Weekend since 2006, and hadn’t been to Memorial Day since 1997. Tillman got there in Year 1. And then he got there again in Year 2. He made another Final Four in Year 4, then made three consecutive trips to Memorial Day in Years 5, 6, and 7, something no other coach accomplished, and finally broke the Terps 42 year wait for a national championship in 2017. When Maryland fired Dave Cottle and hired Tillman, they were asked what their expectations were, to make the Final Four every year? After 7 trips to Championship Weekend in 9 years and an all time blown call away from 8, Tillman’s done just that. He’s tied with Danowski in Final Four trips and NCAA Tournament wins, he produced more members of the College Crosse All-Decade team than any other coach, and his tactical acumen is second to none. When Tillman took over Maryland in 2011, there were questions whether Maryland was as good a program as they thought they were. There were questions whether Tillman was a good enough coach for the job. The answer: A resounding yes.