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Archive for May 23, 2018

May 23, 2018 — Making a transition

College sports in the United States have a number of individual awards for the best player, bestowed by panels of experts convened by athletic clubs, sponsors, or the foundation funding the award.

Football has the Heisman, hockey has the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier awards, basketball has the Wooden Award, baseball has the Golden Spikes.

And lacrosse has the Tewaaraton, annually presented to the best men’s and women’s lacrosse players in the NCAA.

Of all these awards, only a very few elite players such as Maya Moore and Archie Griffin, have won their particular award more than once.

And only one has won their award three times — Taylor Cummings, the former University of Maryland midfielder who may have been the finest all-around midfielder of all time.

As such, she could have had the pick of coaching opportunities, either as an apprentice to eventually become a head coach at a Division I school, or perhaps with a new university program looking to make an immediate statement about winning by hiring her.

Instead, she last year worked for her own company as well as for Under Armour, and this past spring served as an assistant coach at her high-school alma mater, Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.).

During this past season, the Eagles won their first 22 games before falling at the final hurdle, losing the IAAM Class “A” championship game to Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.).

Next season, Cummings will be placing herself in the midst of McDonogh’s effort to bounce back from its first defeat in a decade, as she was introduced yesterday as the private school’s new head coach.

This is a huge hire by the dominant girls’ scholastic lacrosse program in the United States. It’s like a De La Salle managing to get Peyton Manning to coach their football team, or for Findlay Prep managing to hire Michael Jordan as its coach.

And if the enthusiasm on the part of the McDonogh players, as reported by local media, is any indication, McDonogh is going to be in good hands for a long time to come.