G. Gait leaving position with UM women's team

9-year assistant to focus on Bayhawks, business

May 13, 2002|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

ITHACA, N.Y. - Gary Gait, assistant coach of the Maryland women's lacrosse team for nine years, said yesterday he will not return to the Terps next season.

Citing his commitment to the Baltimore Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse as well as new business opportunities, Gait said he will leave Maryland after his contract runs out in June.

The decision last year by Maryland officials not to give him the men's coaching job when Dick Edell retired also figured into his decision.

"I had been waiting for the opportunity to apply for that job. I had that opportunity. It didn't work out in my favor, so it's time to move on. It certainly has nothing to do with the program. It's just a personal decision for my development, and I think there's other opportunities I can offer the game of lacrosse," said Gait, who helped the Terps women win seven straight national championships.

Asked if Gait would become head coach of the Bayhawks, club part-owner Gordon Boone said: "Gary is our offensive coordinator, and he is a player for us. ... A player-coach can't run a game when he is playing. We do plan on having him in a coaching capacity of some sort. But right now, he is a player-coach."

One of the most honored players at every level of the men's game, Gait brought a unique perspective to the women's version. As an attack coach, he introduced many innovations in stickwork, helping the Terps adapt his sleight-of-hand moves to their game. Five times his players were named Offensive Player of the Year.

Maryland coach Cindy Timchal said Gait's contributions have changed the women's game.

"Offensively, with the stick skills, everyone's picked up on it, everyone's gotten better because of it," she said .

Sun staff writer Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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