7/19/10 5:13 PM
Former Loyola, Maryland Mentor Brings Knowledge, Expertise
Annapolis, MD- Chesapeake Bayhawks president Brendan Kelly announced on Monday that renowned college lacrosse coach Dave Cottle has joined the team as a consultant. Kelly, who took on the role of head coach last week, said Cottle will advise the staff on topics ranging from player evaluation to game strategies.
“I’ve known Dave Cottle for a long time and he’s a good friend of the family. We’re very happy to have him working with the Chesapeake Bayhawks,” Kelly said. “This is huge for the Bayhawks and it’s huge for Major League Lacrosse. We are fortunate that someone with Dave Cottle’s expertise is willing to dedicate his time.”
Cottle spent 28 seasons as a Division I head coach and boasts a sterling career record of 280-115 record. He led Loyola College to 181 victories and 14 consecutive NCAA appearances during a 19-year tenure. He moved onto the University of Maryland, which he directed to 99 wins and eight straight playoff berths.
“I like the Kelly family and I live right here in the Annapolis area so I was willing and able to help them in any way I could,” Cottle said. “I’m here to do whatever is needed to help this organization, to help our local team get back to competing for the MLL championship.”
Cottle attended a rare Sunday night practice and was able to meet members of the Bayhawks while taking a first-hand look at the available personnel. He came away very impressed with Chesapeake’s talent base.
“I was so impressed with the size and overall athleticism of the players. This team has some very good lacrosse players that I went against for years and have a tremendous amount of respect for,” said Cottle, who has watched many MLL games and eager to adjust to the unique elements of the pro game. “It’s completely different from college. The teams practice one day a week, the players are given a shell of a game-plan and they have to come out each week and perform. As a result, it’s a players’ league in many respects.”
Kelly expects Cottle to contribute greatly in the area of talent evaluation – whether in-house with the Bayhawks, scouting opponents or providing recommendations for the 2011 MLL Draft.
“Coach Cottle has recruited just about every current player in the MLL so he is very familiar with the talent around the league,” Kelly said. “To have someone with Dave’s experience sit in the film room with me and give his opinion is invaluable.”
Chesapeake general manager Spencer Ford welcomed Cottle’s assistance and was anxious to start discussing the makeup of the roster with him. “Dave is one of the most knowledgeable minds in the game of lacrosse at any level,” Ford said. “Dave brings an awful lot to the table and will serve as a valuable resource to everyone in the organization moving forward.”
Chesapeake midfielder Jeff Reynolds played for Cottle at Maryland and was thrilled to have his former mentor helping with the Bayhawks. “I can’t say enough about Coach Cottle as a coach and a person. He has a tremendous understanding of the game and should be able to provide the type of insight that will be very useful to helping this team win,” Reynolds said. “To bring in someone with that level of experience shows that management is willing to do whatever it takes to be successful.”
Midfielder Ben Hunt said the recent coaching change and the addition of Cottle as a consultant attests to Kelly’s determination to have the team represented at MLL Championship Weekend, which is being held Aug. 21-22 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
“I guarantee we’re the only team in the league holding a Sunday night practice in which we’re going full-out,” Hunt said. “We definitely know that Brendan means business. This league is a business and we take it very seriously. We’re not here to mess around.”
Kelly said Cottle will not be on the sidelines during games and has no interest in becoming head coach of the Bayhawks. Kelly stressed that Cottle is merely serving as a consultant and would not speculate as to how long the relationship will last.