When Maryland decided to overhaul its men's lacrosse program at the end of the season, defensive coordinator Dave Slafkosky was left pondering his options after spending almost 27 years at the school.
Just about seven miles down the road from Slafkosky's home in Catonsville, Mount St. Joseph was looking for a varsity boys lacrosse coach, and Gaels athletic director Paul Triplett knew that Slafkosky might be available. There was already some familiarity as two of Slafkosky's sons, Kevin and Alex, had graduated from the school.
After meeting with Triplett, Slafkosky agreed to take over the Gaels' program, which didn't win a game in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference last season. The biggest transition for Slafkosky from college to high school will be working with much younger athletes.
"I am dealing with some freshmen in high school who are about 14 compared to freshmen in college who are almost 19, so that's a five-year gap," said Slafkosky, who will also work in Mount St. Joseph's guidance office. "I have dealt a lot with kids that age during the summer, so I'm looking forward to dealing with it at Mount St. Joseph. I had a lot of nice calls from parents and I hope they have the same patience after I lose my first MIAA game."
Triplett is hoping for a quick turnaround under Slafkosky's guidance.
"It gives the program instant credibility," Triplett said. "I think the young guys are very excited and look forward to working with him. I think it was a good fit for everyone involved."
In addition to serving as defensive coordinator for Dave Cottle, who resigned May16 -- one day after Maryland was knocked out of the NCAA tournament by Notre Dame -- Slafkosky spent 18 years under former Terps coach Dick Edell. During his tenure at Maryland, Slafkosky worked as an offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and academic support unit liaison. He also coached at Army.
Slafkosky was a standout midfielder for Johns Hopkins and contributed to the Blue Jays' 1974 national championship.
"The timing really worked out in our favor," Triplett said. "It was kind of like the right place at the right time. It all came together, and we couldn't be more pleased he accepted the position."