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Q&A: Former Maryland Lacrosse Coach Dave Cottle

September 14, 2010

Former Maryland Terrapins lacrosse coach Dave Cottle helped guide the Bayhawks to the 2010 MLL title.
(Terrapin Sports Photography)
Dave Cottle stepped down as head coach at the University of Maryland in May after his Terps lost to Notre Dame, 7-5, in the NCAA quarterfinals. The decision came as a surprise to many after an above-average regular season in which the Terrapins defeated teams such as eventual 2010 NCAA champion Duke, North Carolina, Johns Hopkins and Navy.

Cottle (279-115 overall) was a candidate for several open college positions, including Penn State and Harvard (where his successor at Maryland, John Tillman, was the head coach). But in late July, after losing five games in a row, the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse hired Cottle as the team's consultant. After Cottle's hiring, the Bayhawks went 4-1 and eventually won the 2010 MLL Championship.

PressBox caught up with Cottle and got his thoughts on the Bayhawks' late-season turnaround and his departure from College Park.

PressBox: How rewarding was it to be affiliated with the Chesapeake Bayhawks and to see them go on a roll after you came on board?
Dave Cottle: The Kellys (Brendan Kelly, owner and head coach of Chesapeake Bayhawks) are friends of mine. They contacted me and I didn't have a lot going on except for some lacrosse camps. I knew some of the guys on the team and saw a fun opportunity and it exceeded all expectations. Brendan Kelly, assistant coaches John Lamon and Jamie McNealy did a tremendous job. It was a pleasure for me.

PB: What did you do with the Bayhawks?
DC: I did a little bit of everything. My thing was to just assist those guys anywhere from watching game film to drawing up a game plan against an opponent, making a few subtle changes. The credit goes to the players and the coaching staff. I really enjoyed the time I spent with the team. 

PB: Are you looking to be a head coach in MLL?
DC: Right now, I am going to take the year off and try to figure out what it is I want to do. But the best part about coaching is being around the players. I really enjoy working with the pro players as much as the college kids. So from that standpoint, I like being around the guys and it is something I will continue to do.

PB: How do you look back at your nine years at the University of Maryland?
DC: I was very fortunate. I coached some great people and worked with a great coaching staff. I wish we won a few more games. I'm disappointed with how last year ended. I really thought last year's team was a special group. They gave me their soul and played really hard. Looking back on it, losing the last game to Notre Dame was gut-wrenching.

I was very fortunate to coach at a great university and get to be around some great people. I thoroughly enjoyed my team, the parents and everything that came with it.  

PB: Was the Harvard job ever offered to you? If so, why did you decide to pass on the offer?
DC: First, the athletic director at Harvard, Bob Scalise, is a friend of mine. We talked about the job. It got very complicated, starting at home. I have a daughter starting at Maryland and another daughter now a senior in high school. I hadn't had much time with my children to begin with because of coaching. So there were some family issues.

In the long run, I feel it worked out for me and I don't have any regrets. This way I can take a year off, spend time with my family and watch my kids grow up.

PB: What's next for Dave Cottle?
DC: I am helping a group put together a five-on-five lacrosse game that will be played across the country. It will be called Scoop It Up Lax, and we are going to announce it in the next couple months. It will focus on youth with under 11, 13 and 15 national championships. It will have a two-point shot, with a combination of pro and college rules. I have some new ideas for recruiting camps. I'm trying to figure out what my niche is right now. If nothing comes up down the road, head-coaching-wise, I am definitely going to continue helping the Bayhawks next year.

Interview conducted by Tom Peace

Issue 153: September 2010