Former Hopkins star Cowan selected for Tewaaraton Legends Award

  • Joe Cowan (25) earned first-team All-America honors as Johns Hopkins won national championships from 1967 to 1969. He also set 15 football records at the school.
Joe Cowan (25) earned first-team All-America honors as Johns… (Johns Hopkins )
January 15, 2013|The Baltimore Sun

The Tewaaraton Foundation has named former Johns Hopkins lacrosse star and U.S. Lacrosse National Hall of Famer Joe Cowan as the recipient of the third annual Tewaaraton Legends Award.

"Joe Cowan is a natural selection for the third Tewaaraton Legends Award," said Jeff Harvey, chairman of the Tewaaraton Foundation. “He was an outstanding player during a championship era at Johns Hopkins and, just as importantly, he has always been loyal to his alma mater and the game of lacrosse.”

Cowan's illustrious lacrosse career began at Friends, where he was a standout midfielder. In 1963, he helped the team win the Maryland Scholastic Association Championship.

At Johns Hopkins, he played on three consecutive NCAA championship lacrosse teams (1967-69) and was also a standout on the football team, setting 15 school records in rushing, receiving and kicking. As a lacrosse player, Cowan earned first-team All-America honors in each of the three national championship seasons, and in 1968 and 1969 he received the Jack Turnbull Award as the nation's most outstanding attackman. In 1969, he was also the first recipient of the Lt. Raymond Enners Award, given to the nation's most outstanding player. Cowan was selected to play in the annual North-South game in 1969.

Cowan also was drafted by the Baltimore Colts, becoming the first Hopkins athlete to be picked by an NFL team.

Cowan stayed at Johns Hopkins for 14 years as an assistant coach, working with 2013 Spirit of Tewaaraton Award recipient Bob Scott. Cowan played for the Mount Washington Lacrosse Club in 1970-71 and also served on the Board of Directors of the Lacrosse Foundation, one of the predecessors to US Lacrosse.

The Tewaaraton Legends Award annually honors one recipient who played college lacrosse before 2001, the first year in which the Tewaaraton Award was presented. Recipients are chosen on the basis that their college performance would have earned them a Tewaaraton Award had the award existed when they played. The previous two Legends Award winners were Syracuse’s Jim Brown (2011) and Cornell’s Eamon McEneaney (2012).

"Joe is without question one of the finest lacrosse players in the history of college lacrosse," Johns Hopkins athletic director Tom Calder said. "We are excited for Joe and his family that he has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Tewaaraton Legends Award. His records, honors and awards speak to the high level at which he played and he continues to be a visible and active supporter of our program. The committee could not have selected a better person for this award than Joe Cowan."

Cowan will receive the Legends Award during the Tewaaraton Award ceremony May 30 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington. For more information on the Tewaaraton Legends Award or to attend this event, visit

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