Coaching search is on at Loyola

School wants replacement for Cottle by mid-October

Toomey handling practices

College Lacrosse

September 28, 2001|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Loyola College expects to have a less contentious time replacing Dave Cottle than Maryland had hiring him.

Cottle was preparing for his 20th season in charge of the Greyhounds when he became the Terps' coach earlier this week, a hire that was protested by Maryland players. Assistant coach Charley Toomey will run fall practices at Loyola until a permanent successor to Cottle is found, a search the college wants concluded by mid-October.

"One of the ways you judge a coach is the shape he leaves a program in," Loyola athletic director Joe Boylan said yesterday. "Dave was one of the top two or three coaches in America for 20 years. He left our program in very good shape, and a lot of quality people are going to be interested in one of our highest-profile programs."

Loyola could find a replacement among those who came through the program. In nearly two decades at Evergreen, Cottle cultivated a number of players and assistant coaches who have remained in the college game.

Bill Dirrigl, a former assistant to Cottle, may be the candidate Loyola has targeted, but he is preparing for only his second season as the head coach at Rutgers, and may be reluctant to relocate for the second time in a little over two years. Dirrigl could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Kevin Anderson is the top assistant at Notre Dame, which made its first Final Four appearance last year, but he played for the Greyhounds less than a decade ago and may not have enough coaching experience to suit his alma mater. Stan Ross and Paul Cantabene, who helped Towson's upstart team reach the Final Four, are other up-and-coming young assistants who played for Loyola.

Chris Colbeck, a Calvert Hall grad who earned All-American honors for the Greyhounds a decade ago, was the top assistant at Virginia, which broke the Princeton-Syracuse lock on the NCAA title in 1999. Colbeck resigned from his post with the Cavaliers in June, and declined to comment on any interest he might have in the Loyola job.

"There are a bunch of different people involved who I'm very close to, so I have no comment right now," Colbeck said. "People don't appreciate how much work that job requires. Loyola is not the big dog on Charles Street anymore. Tony Seaman has Towson going, Dave Pietramala is determined at Hopkins, and Dave Cottle is going to make Maryland that much tougher to beat. Whoever Loyola hires better be prepared to work his butt off."

Toomey, a former Severn School coach, is in his second stint as a Loyola assistant. He was an All-American goalie for the Greyhounds in 1989 and '90.

"If I'm a serious candidate for this position, then I'll apply," Toomey said. "I'm a Loyola grad, and I've coached here. This is a wonderful place, and it's a wonderful opportunity for anybody who takes over after the success Coach Cottle has had. We're moving forward with recruiting, and fall ball. All of our recruits are still on board, and our verbal commitments are not wavering."

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