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John Desko

Hall of Fame


Inducted 2020


Syracuse University

Inducted as a truly great coach, Desko recorded a 265-92 record in 23 seasons at Syracuse University, retiring following the 2021 season. He led the Orange to NCAA national championships in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2009, and his career winning percentage (.741) was the second best among active NCAA Division I coaches when he retired. Desko ranks third among Division I head coaches with 34 career wins in NCAA Tournament games, and his five NCAA titles trail only Bill Tierney (7) and Roy Simmons Jr. (6).

As an assistant coach at Syracuse for 19 seasons prior to becoming the head coach, Desko was a part of 229 wins and contributed to the program’s six NCAA titles captured during that period. As a head coach, Desko was a two-time national coach of the year honoree, and he was also recognized as a conference coach of the year five times. He also served as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team that captured the silver medal at the 2006 World Championship.

Desko was inducted previously into the USA Lacrosse Upstate Chapter Hall of Fame (1997), the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame (2011), and the Camillus/West Genesee Sports Hall of Fame (2011).