It is so very good to be back after my slight vacation, thanks so much to Jeff for filling in for me with a great Free Kicks on Friday. By the way, remember when the O’s were good in interleague play? For that matter, remember when the Washington Expos were bad? I might actually have to start calling them the Nationals at some point! But no, I’m still not there yet. We are all awaiting whether Dave Trembley will be fired, as though it will keep relievers from going on the DL. Perhaps we can name Albert Puhols manager and he can bat cleanup as well… However, there is another Maryland name that has been let go as head coach. Dave Cottle has “resigned” as head coach of the Maryland lacrosse team, a victim of what I like to call the “law of adjusted expectations.”
The Terps haven’t won a men’s lacrosse championship since the 1970’s, despite being in the heart of lacrosse talent and perennially finishing strong in the ACC. Over time however, as a team is successful, expectations change. The fan base no longer wants to make it to the tournament, they want to win it. They no longer want the ACC title, they want the national title. This isn’t to say they aren’t right in expecting it. Once a team has reached a certain point and has the talent to make a run, they should. In his nine seasons at the helm of Maryland lacrosse, that step hasn’t been taken, and after getting bumped out by an upstart Notre Dame squad, that #2 seed looks all the worse for it.
Single elimination playoff games tend to reveal who the best and worst in-game coaches are. A move here or there can influence the outcome when both teams are determined to put everything into the game. During the season one decision here and here can be averaged out and hidden behind the box score, but Cottle was never considered a great in-game coach, leading to the assembly of incredibly talented rosters that couldn’t win it all when playoff time came around. He leaves College Park with 8 NCAA tournament appearances and 3 Final Four appearances, which would be fine if he had a title to his name. With the talent and name that Maryland carries in the lacrosse world, fans can expect it.
So where with Maryland go from here? Inside Lacrosse already has a great breakdown of the candidates. However, one name I have been told to keep an eye on is Scott Marr, head coach of Albany, who finished 4-10 this season. In 2007 Marr had his contract extended through 2012, but we all know how meaningless those college contracts are. It has been a rough ride since that 15-3 season, though he remains 272-250 at Albany overall. Given his ties to Maryland as an assistant coach from 1995-2000 and his recruiting connections in New York, he may fare better at a school with the fan support, resources, and conference exposure that far outweighs anything he could hope for with the Great Danes.