Corrigan drops bid for Terps job

He'll stay with Irish

Gait, Cottle now top lacrosse candidates


September 19, 2001|By Paul McMullen and Gary Lambrecht | Paul McMullen and Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

With Notre Dame's Kevin Corrigan saying he is no longer interested in the job, speculation on Maryland's next lacrosse coach centers on Gary Gait and Dave Cottle.

Longtime assistant Dave Slafkosky is the interim coach running the Terps through fall practice, but Maryland has been searching for a permanent successor to Dick Edell since the longtime boss retired nearly three weeks ago.

Gait, the former Syracuse star who is an assistant coach in the Maryland women's program, continues to be a strong candidate to become the 10th head coach in the history of a program that began in 1924.

He has no head-coaching experience, but he has been involved in 10 NCAA titles, continues to play professionally and may be the most prominent name in the world of lacrosse

Cottle, who was interviewed by Maryland on Sunday, did not return several phone messages seeking comment. He has taken Loyola College to the past 14 NCAA tournaments, and is preparing for his 20th season with the Greyhounds.

Corrigan interviewed for the position last week, but told the Terps that he will remain at Notre Dame, where he has been coach since 1989.

"I am extremely happy at Notre Dame, and I think the best thing for myself and my family is to stay at Notre Dame and pursue a national championship here," Corrigan said.

"I think it [Maryland] is a great job, but it's not the right job for me."

Notre Dame reached its first Final Four in May, and the recruiting class that lands in South Bend in 2002 will include the first athletic scholarships for lacrosse offered by the Fighting Irish.

"In some ways I have a new job," Corrigan said. "Two years ago, I was in a non-scholarship program, with a fairly limited level of commitment. We're going to be a full-scholarship program, with a stronger commitment to the program and myself."

Maryland's search committee, which includes Dick Corrigan, an uncle of the Notre Dame coach, contacted several successful coaches to gauge their interest in the Terps' job. Among them was Duke's Mike Pressler, who said he was not interested in an interview.

"If anybody calls you in any profession, you're flattered, but it's been a great 12 years here for me," Pressler said. "It's been 12 of the best years of my life, and we hope to continue what we're doing. I have no plans to leave Blue Devil land."

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