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Archive for June 6, 2021

BULLETIN: June 6, 2021 — A legend of the men’s game, and the women’s game, moves back to the men’s side

Multiple reports out of central New York are reporting that John Desko is retiring from his position with the Syracuse University men’s lacrosse team, and that SU women’s coach Gary Gait will be moving to take over that program.

Gait has been an absolute legend in the game of lacrosse. He’s affected the men’s game with his play and the women’s game with his coaching. He is the reason why many lacrosse sticks are strung a certain way, and why pockets in the men’s game are almost invariably white, and pockets in the women’s game are yellow, all the better to hide the ball.

He was an assistant coach at the University of Maryland for a time, helping the Terrapins win multiple championships. For the last 15 seasons, he has been with the Syracuse women’s team, taking the Orange to three national title matches, the last occurring only a week ago in Towson, Md.

Gait’s presence with the Syracuse men will add instant credibility to the program. Syracuse has been a tremendous team over the years, winning 15 national titles, but the Orangemen have not been to the Final Four since 2013.

The opening at Syracuse’s women’s lacrosse team is going to lead to a mad scramble. There are plenty of Gait’s former players coaching at various places, such as Michelle Tumolo (Wagner), Katie Rowan (Albany), Liz Hogan (Colgate), and Alyssa Murray (Boston College).

Now, I think Regy Thorpe, his former assistant with the women’s team, would be an inspired coach, but he’s already helping to build the University of Pittsburgh program, which will be playing its first fall-ball season in a few months. It will be interesting to see who Syracuse University will chose to coach a championship-level group of women.