The Chesapeake Bayhawks improved their credibility and that of Major League Lacrosse on Thursday, naming former Maryland lacrosse coach Dave Cottle their new coach.
"It's the ideal situation, a no-brainer for me," said owner Brendan Kelly, who hired Cottle two years ago as a consultant and assistant coach and named him president in January 2011. "Dave's track record speaks for itself. To have him stay on board — with Dave's name out there for every college vacancy — was my goal.
"It's a whole other step forward for the organization and the league … Dave represents the passion and love for the game that made it easy for me to turn the reins over to him. I look forward to hoisting the Steinfeld Trophy with him as our leader."
A Baltimore native who attended Northern High, Cottle was a three-time Division III All-American at Salisbury State. After graduating, he served as an assistant coach at Salisbury for two years and coached high school lacrosse at Severn for two years before becoming coach at Loyola College in 1982. He coached the Greyhounds for 19 seasons, then spent seven leading the Terps.
His 280-115 career record, 22 NCAA tournament appearances and .709 winning percentage rank him among the top Division I coaches of all time.
Asked whether, as president, he conducted an outside search for a coach before agreeing to take the job, Cottle said, in so many words, that he hadn't.
"My whole thing is that I want the best guy to lead us to where we want to go," he said. "The owner and the GM felt it was me. I'll do my best. … This is a special place. We're building something here for the future, and this is where I want to be. I've had offers to go back to college coaching in the last year or so, but there is no job better than the one I have right now. I have no other aspirations."
Cottle, 56, said he will continue as president and sees the two positions as a perfect combination. He said as president he has "the best long-term interest" of the club in his heart and as coach, "the best short-term interest" in winning.
"We want to find the best players we can, whether they come from Hopkins, Virginia or Iowa State," said Cottle, whose Loyola and Maryland teams often faced their most challenging competition in Johns Hopkins. "We want all kinds of players — rich, poor, black or white. We don't care. We want the best. I've found a way to really like Hopkins guys, too."