Charley Toomey's office phone line is so flooded that it no longer accepts incoming calls. The Loyola men's lacrosse coach has spent the past couple of days responding to emails, so he really hasn't had a chance to think a lot about his team's national championship.
It apparently hasn't set in with his wife, Sara, either.
"I don't know if it will," Toomey, a father of three, said with a laugh. "The next thing I'm going to hear is, 'Honey, go out and cut the grass. You've been involved in a lot the past two weeks, so it's time to mow the lawn.'
"Maybe later this summer when I'm out on the [Chesapeake] Bay relaxing with [assistant coach] Steve Vaikness I'll say, 'Wow, you really accomplished something.' Ever since Monday, my life has been a whirlwind."
His neighbors decorated his house to celebrate, and students gave the Greyhounds a welcome-home party Tuesday. But during Loyola's run to the championship, which ended Monday with the Greyhounds' 9-3 win over Maryland, Toomey seemed to get overlooked.
Everyone talked about attackman Eric Lusby or midfielders Chris Layne or Josh Hawkins. Even sophomore goalie Jack Runkel got some face time on ESPN.
But what about Toomey?
"His stamp was all over this team, from their defensive philosophy to some of the new things they did on offense," said Chesapeake Bayhawks coach Dave Cottle, Toomey's former coach and mentor at Loyola. "From beginning to end, they were the most consistent team."
It's easy to overlook Toomey. He is not as physically intimidating as Dave Pietramala. He doesn't have the pedigree of Roy Simmons or the resume of Bill Tierney.
He coaches at little Loyola, not Virginia, like Dom Starsia.
"He gave that team a great sense of identity of who they were and who they wanted to be, and a great formula for success," said John Tillman, Maryland's coach and one of Toomey's best friends. "Charley does things the right way, and he has a great deal of integrity. If I had a son, I'd want him to play for Charley Toomey."
Toomey is almost too clean-cut to be real. It starts with the well-manicured hair, which is never out of place. He is usually well-dressed, and the top button of his shirt is usually fastened. Toomey greets you with a firm handshake and constant eye contact.
And he is extremely polite and well-mannered, possibly because of his background as a Navy assistant from 1993 to 1994.
"What you see is what you get because he wears his heart on his sleeve," Tillman said. "Charley is very transparent, and that's refreshing. He doesn't take short cuts. When he had to sit certain players down this season — he did because they weren't bigger than his program. He does things the right way."
He also has discipline. His parents, Charles and Joyce, two sisters and brother moved from Elkridge to Annapolis when Toomey was 3. Toomey said he was "stubby" growing up, and became a goalie at age 6 when the coach promised the team that whoever volunteered to play goalie didn't have to run sprints.
"My hand was the first one up," Toomey said.
Toomey first attended Archbishop Spalding, but played his last two seasons at Boys' Latin, helping lead the Lakers to a conference title in 1984 and a runner-up trophy a year later.
"Charley came from a great family," said Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver. "They were good people, very supportive of the school and community, and appreciative of the opportunities presented to Charley. In the two years he went here, he drove an hour and 15 minutes each day, and he was never late for a practice or a game. That tells you something about him."
Toomey was recruited by Penn, Hobart, Navy, Towson and Hampden-Sydney, but he chose Loyola late in the recruiting process. He was a two-time All-American goalie for the Greyhounds and helped lead them to the national championship game in 1990 before losing to Syracuse in the finals.
"Charley was not the greatest athlete, but he was very athletic in the crease," Cottle said. "In that 9-foot radius, he was quick and competitive and he always attacked the ball. He was always accountable.
"Charley was also a great teammate. He always cheered other people on. He was intelligent, had fun and the other players enjoyed him. Back then, you couldn't tell if he was going to become a coach, but you could tell that whatever he was going to do, he was going to be successful."
Toomey became an assistant at Loyola, Navy, Severn and Loyola again before becoming the Greyhounds' head coach in 2006. He has had some outstanding teams at Loyola, but never one as balanced and talented as the 2012 version.
The Greyhounds could run and gun, or play six on six. As Shriver pointed out, Loyola attacked the game even when substituting.
Cottle said he could see Toomey's personal touch defensively by the way the Greyhounds forced teams to use their off hands, and how Loyola wouldn't slide to them. According to Cottle, it's something Toomey instituted a few years ago, and it worked well against Maryland.
Loyola's season was magical, and sometime this summer, Toomey will be out on the Bay, listening to either his favorite jazz or country musician, and he'll finally take the time to reflect on 2012.
"They don't lose much, so I see them being No. 1 next season when it starts," Tillman said. "They've got an administration that is supportive and a great facility. They've got a great coaching staff in place led by Charley, so I think they're going to be good for quite a long time."