"Dave assumes nothing," said Dave Pietramala, the Cornell coach who was a Loyola assistant in 1994. "A lot of coaches say, 'This is the way it is,' and never change. Dave was always playing devil's advocate. You had to prove to him that what you were doing was the best thing for the team. He made me think through the consequences."
When Cottle went to coaching conventions, he would pick the brain of one man. How did that New York high school coach get his team so disciplined? How did Dick Edell adapt from a close-to-the-vest style at Army to a more free-wheeling approach at Maryland?
Always, he sought counsel from Bob Scott and the late Henry Ciccarone, the guys down Charles Street, where Johns Hopkins had a century head start on Loyola. The answer kept coming back to recruiting, and Cottle knew he wouldn't consistently catch the likes of Hopkins or Syracuse until his boys were as big and fast and slick as theirs.
This is the most athletic team Cottle has ever had. Defenseman Jamie Hanford is talented enough to take faceoffs with a long stick. Mark Frye's clears trigger a dangerous transition game. Gewas Schindler is a native American from Syracuse who has what Cottle calls "Canadian skills."
Some were won in recruiting wars, others were gambles. All were lured to a program that Cottle has taken beyond its means.
"Dave was able to keep his team focused through some rocky times," said Joe Boylan, Loyola's athletic director the past six years. "You look at where the other teams in the final four are coming from. Somehow we're in with them, and it's all a credit to Dave."
Pub Date: 5/23/98
Lacrosse final four At Rutgers
No. 5 seed Maryland vs. No. 1 Loyola, noon, ESPN2
No. 2 Princeton vs. No. 3 Syracuse, 45 minutes after first game, ESPN2
10: 55 a.m., ESPN
Year W-L Finish
1987 8-3 National rank: 10th
1988 12-2 NCAA quarterfinalist
1989 10-1 NCAA quarterfinalist
1990 11-3 NCAA runner-up
1991 9-4 NCAA quarterfinals
1992 8-4 NCAA first round
1993 8-5 NCAA quarterfinalist
1994 11-2 NCAA quarterfinalist
1995 11-4 NCAA quarterfinalist
1996 7-6 NCAA first round
1997 10-4 NCAA quarterfinalist
1998 13-1 In NCAA semifinals