Double teamed Coaching men, women, success is twice as nice for Terps' Shattuck

September 18, 1990|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Evening Sun Staff

It was not just another weekend for Alden Shattuck.

But then, this has not been just another season for Shattuck.

He is in his sixth year as the men's soccer coach at Maryland. He is in his first as the women's coach.

His tour of double duty was in evidence last weekend. On Friday, Shattuck traveled with his women to Chapel Hill, N.C. In search of their 10th national title in the last 12 years, the Tar Heels are the undisputed queens of collegiate women's soccer. They dismissed Maryland, 5-0.

Shattuck returned with the women to College Park that night, then got right back on the road. His men had a Sunday game at Virginia, which shared the NCAA title a year ago and had the nation's third-best winning percentage in the 1980s.

The Terps were outshot but pulled off a 1-0 upset, handing the Cavaliers their first regular-season loss in the Atlantic Coast Conference in five years. It might have been Shattuck's best win ever at Maryland. His only regret was that he didn't get to enjoy the build-up.

"The frustrating thing is that I can't always be there for the key events, all of the big practices leading up to the big games," Shattuck said. "I hate missing Friday and Saturday training sessions before a key Sunday game, but that's the price I've got to pay right now."

The Maryland athletic department is in the midst of a well-documented financial bind, but Shattuck said money wasn't the primary reason he decided to coach the women's team. Marsha McDermott had given the women's team a solid foundation, but when she moved on to Arkansas, the program's future was shaky.

"The idea was mine as much as anyone's," Shattuck said. "Marsha lined up a great bunch of recruits this year, and when she left, the players felt they were going to be orphaned. I wanted to make sure the women's team kept going."

Tomorrow will be a typically busy day for Shattuck. The women are home at 1 p.m. against Radford. After the field is cleared, the men will play American. The schedule isn't always so accommodating. When conflicts arise, Sue Montagne runs the women's team, Dean Foti the men's.

The hours are long, but Shattuck is used to it. When he was at Syracuse -- where Foti was one of his top players -- springs were spent as an assistant coach in lacrosse, and the 1983 NCAA stick championship is on his resume. Earlier, he guided Hartwick to NCAA soccer honors in 1977.

Another team didn't bring Shattuck another paycheck. In fact, under the Maryland athletic department's four-tier plan for reducing its $3.5 million deficit, men's soccer landed in level two and had 15 percent of the men's scholarships cut. Women's soccer, however, has its biggest budget ever, prompting Shattuck to say, "it helped balance out my ego."

Shattuck needs all the support the department can muster. Besides Maryland, four other ACC schools play women's soccer, and all are ranked nationally. The ACC is also regarded as the nation's best conference in the men's game, with Clemson (1984 and '87), Duke (1986) and Virginia recently winning NCAA titles.

The Maryland men were picked to finish last in the ACC this year, but Sunday's huge win at Virginia and three freshmen from Canada have the record at 4-1-1. (Shattuck's six-year mark at Maryland is 60-30-13.) The Terps were No. 15 in the nation last week, and figure to move up several notches when the rankings are updated today.

The women, who are starting five freshmen and three sophomores, are 2-4.

Collegiate coaches handling men's and women's teams in cross country and track and field are not uncommon. Shattuck realizes he isn't even breaking ground in soccer. The role model is North Carolina's Anson Dorrance. He's in his 12th season with the Tar Heel women, and doubled up with the men's team from 1977 to '88.

"He [Dorrance] realized he couldn't do it anymore," Shattuck said. "My coaching the women is not a permanent arrangement. It's not going to be like this for the next 20 years. We've got a good head coaching candidate [in Montagne] for the women right now."

The Maryland women are grateful Shattuck is doubling up.

"It's worked out great so far," said Dianne Taylor, a senior captain from Dulaney. "It seems like we're getting more respect in the athletic department now that he [Shattuck] is our coach. He's on a lot of committees."

Oh, yes, Shattuck was one of two coaches who sat in on the search committee that came up with Andy Geiger's name as the Terps' new athletic director.

"It was a distraction, but another exciting thing I wanted to be part of," Shattuck said. "It beats getting bored. Believe me, I sleep well at night."

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