|Timchal, Berkman, Seibert Reach Historic Milestones|
By Steve Jones
You have to coach for a long time to win 400 games. You also have to be really good at what you do. That description applies to three college coaches in Maryland, who recently reached the coveted victory mark.
Navy's Cindy Timchal became the first lacrosse coach ever (men's or women's) to reach the career 400-victory mark when Navy defeated Robert Morris March 7. As of April 12, the fifth-year Navy coach had compiled an amazing 407-107 record during her 30 years at Northwestern, Maryland and Navy. Her players marked the milestone by buying her custom-made Nike shoes inscribed with "400 wins."
"It was very special," Timchal said. "I've been fortunate to coach at three wonderful institutions and been able to recruit and coach top-level players."
While her win total surpasses all other collegiate lacrosse coaches, what is also impressive about Timchal is her ability to build a program. In 1982, Timchal was hired as Northwestern's first coach. Starting from scratch, she guided the Wildcats to 76 wins and five NCAA tournament appearances during nine years. The Northwestern program Timchal started has won six of the past seven NCAA Division I championships.
Timchal's next move brought her to the University of Maryland. Timchal revitalized the Terrapin program, which went 260-46 under her guidance and won eight national championships during 16 seasons.
"Winning seven consecutive national titles to tie (former UCLA basketball coach) John Wooden's record was a real defining moment," Timchal said.
Always looking for another challenge, Timchal came to Annapolis in 2007 to guide the Navy women's lacrosse program from club to varsity status. She has led the Midshipmen to a 71-21 record (as of April 12), two straight Patriot League titles, and NCAA tournament appearances in 2010 and 2011.
"I felt that everything was in place at the Naval Academy," Timchal said. "There was a great level of support from [athletic director] Chet Gladchuk and our entire athletic department, and it was exciting to be the first service academy to play women's lacrosse."
The current Navy team was 13-2 as of April 12, and compiled a school-record 10-game winning streak before losing at top-ranked Northwestern March 25.
"We played very well during the first part of that game at Northwestern," Timchal said. "We aspire to be at that level. We're now getting the quality athletes that can also play at Northwestern and Maryland, and we're starting a winning tradition at Navy."
Salisbury's Jim Berkman was the next lacrosse coach to reach the 400-win milestone. On April 4, Berkman became the first men's coach in NCAA lacrosse history to win 400 games when the Sea Gulls defeated Mary Washington, 16-8.
Since beginning his head coaching career in 1988 at Potsdam (N.Y.) State, Berkman has posted a record of 401-42, as of April 10. His top-ranked Sea Gulls are headed for their 24th consecutive NCAA tournament berth.
It took McDaniel baseball's Dave Seibert a few more years than Timchal and Berkman to reach the 400-win mark. Now in his 32nd season at the helm of the Green Terror, Seibert recorded his 400th career victory when McDaniel edged Drew, 4-3, March 16. Seibert, a 1978 graduate of then-Western Maryland College, had guided the current McDaniel team to a 15-8 start, which included a school-record 10-game winning streak, after an April 19 win against Penn State York.
Issue 172: April 2012