Dialed In: Your Lacrosse Fix for Wednesday, Dec. 20
Syracuse set to retire Paul Gait's No. 19, Mike Phipps to Maryland and more.
Good morning. Here’s the latest from around the lacrosse world:
1. Syracuse is retiring National Lacrosse Hall of Fame player Paul Gait’s jersey. His No. 19 sweater will be raised to the rafters alongside the No. 22 donned by his twin brother Gary Gait and Mike Powell when the Orange host Virginia at JMA Wireless Dome on April 20.
A three-time first-team All-American who with his brother rose to fame in the 1980s and enjoyed a prolific professional career in the 1990s and 2000s, Gait became a titan of the lacrosse industry, starting his own equipment company and pioneering new technologies. He suffered a fall at a Gait Lacrosse warehouse last year, an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down but has not deterred him from forging forward in his career and the pursuit of innovation in lacrosse.
2. Maryland men’s lacrosse coach John Tillman has hired Mike Phipps as his offensive coordinator, replacing Jake Bernhardt with another alum who sandwiched successful stints at Navy with a five-year run at Georgetown in between. Inside Lacrosse and Ty Xanders each reported the news Monday.
Bernhardt left last month to become the head coach at Colby. Navy must replace its offensive coordinator for the second straight year after Brad Ross’ previous departure to take the head job at Bryant, where according to Xanders the Bulldogs have also brought on Zach Goodrich as a second assistant.
3. It didn’t take long for pro lacrosse legend Brodie Merrill to secure a coaching position. The 19-year veteran defenseman and five-time Canadian national team member announced his retirement from the Premier Lacrosse League and National Lacrosse League in September. On Tuesday, the Boston Cannons announced Merrill would join their staff as an assistant coach for the PLL Championship Series in February.
Merrill is a plenty good coach already. He founded one of the top prep teams in North America at The Hill Academy (Ontario) and has coached Canadian national teams in U20 and Sixes competition.
4. Inside Lacrosse updated its women’s lacrosse class of 2024 rankings Tuesday. North Carolina-bound Eliza Osburn remains the No. 1-ranked player and is one of three future Tar Heels in the top 10. The top four prospects — Osburn, Madison Rassas, Devon Russell and Kate Levy — are members of the 2024 U.S. Women’s U20 Training Team.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- About the Best of Lacrosse 2023 nominees for Best Women’s Performance.
- The Gift of Lacrosse: profile of National Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee Katie Chrest.
- Notre Dame is cleaning up this awards season.
- Rising West: Justin Anderson’s path to the PLL, a Lacrosse All Stars story.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
Mitchell Pehlke’s all-access video with Salisbury men’s lacrosse, including tons of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews and an equally sad and heartwarming segment at the 15:30 mark during which 13-time national championship-winning coach Jim Berkman relives the day his house was destroyed — and his dog died — in a fire.
WHAT’S ON TAP
- Two hours left to vote on X (formerly Twitter) for Best Women’s Performance in our Best of Lacrosse 2023 series.
- A profile of National Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee Kyle Harrison.