Lacrosse's all-time great college players will be in the limelight at the grand opening to the sport's $1.5 million Hall of Fame Museum tonight.
The 6:30 p.m. ceremony, open to the public, launches the ninth annual Hall of Fame Lacrosse Classic, which will feature 15 championship and All-Star games over three days at Homewood. An old-timers' game for players 35 and over follows the ceremony. Nine players who previously had been enshrined in the Hall of Fame will be competing -- including former Hopkins greats Joe Cowan and Hank Kaestner, Towson State's Bob Griebe and University of Maryland's Jack Heim.
But the real suspense will be at the All-American banquet at noon Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor, where the Division I Coach of the Year and Outstanding Player of the Year will be announced.
University of North Carolina coach Dave Klarmann, who led the Tar Heels to a 16-0 record and the national championship with an 18-13 victory over Towson State in his first season, is the favorite among three finalists that include Brown's Dom Starsia and Princeton's Bill Tierney.
Johns Hopkins coach Tony Seaman, who concluded his first year with an 8-3 record, and Loyola College coach Dave Cottle felt certain that Klarmann would be chosen.
"He sure did a good job," said Seaman. "It's hard to beat out a guy who's undefeated and who won the national championship. He's my Coach of the Year."
Said Cottle: "I'd be surprised if he didn't win. He deserves it."
"My team won and that's what matters," said Klarmann. "There are probably a dozen or so coaches out there who didn't have the horses that I had who deserve it. [Starsia and Tierney] are as qualified, if not more qualified, to get the award. If I win it, I'll be proud, but if not, what would you rather be, Coach of the Year or coach of the national champions?"
Many of the sport's past stars and those hoping to one day leave their mark will be on hand for the opening of the Hall of Fame Museum. The 5,000-square-foot facility, located on University Parkway adjacent to Homewood Field, features hundreds of photographs, artifacts and memorabilia. It also has a film and video library, along with a 116-seat amphitheater.
"It's beautiful," said Seaman. "It's about time that the Foundation [which had been based in the Hopkins Athletic since 1966] has got something that is very workable for them."
Steve Stenersen, executive director of the Foundation, said: "Hopkins was very generous for letting us rent the area. We were running out of room and weren't able to showcase the sport of lacrosse. The new museum allows to spotlight the history of the sport and honor those who have made the sport what it is today."
The games will be highlighted by the Division I North/South showdown tomorrow night, to be followed by a contest between the Junior College North/South select teams. Saturday evening, the elite players in Division III will be the center of attraction.
Where: Homewood Field, Johns Hopkins.
Schedule: Today (starting at 6 p.m.) -- Opening of Hall of Fame Museum, old-timers games; tomorrow (starting at 2 p.m.) -- girls junior all-star game, city middle school title game; college all-star games. Saturday (starting at 9 a.m.) -- Youth games, club championship games.
Tickets: $7 a day for adults, $6 in advance; $3 a day for children under 12.