Hall of Fame|
Dick Garber enrolled at Springfield as a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and baseball, but found himself in reserve positions behind older students who were veterans returning from WWII. After his sophomore basketball season, Garber laid down his bat, picked up a lacrosse stick and played in the first game he ever saw. As a junior, he played football and lacrosse. Playing only lacrosse his last year, Garber captained the team and earned All-New England status.
After a three-year stint in the Air Force and a year in YMCA work, Garber became the varsity lacrosse coach at UMass-Amherst, a position he retired from in 1990. His overall coaching record was 300-142 in 36 seasons. He was the first collegiate lacrosse coach to win 300 games. Seventeen of his teams ranked in the top 15 nationally with a highest ranking of fourth, and nine of Garber's squads appeared in the NCAA Tournament. His teams won 13 New England Championships. Twice Garber was selected as the coach of the North team in the Intercollegiate North/South Games.
More than 100 of Garber's athletes attained All-New England status. Forty-two were selected to play in North/South All Star Game. He had 82 of his players receive All-America honors. Garber coached three men who played in the Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships; one was named Best and Fairest Player. Garber taught physical education and in 1969 was presented with the Distinguished Teacher Award by UMass-Amherst.
Over the years, Garber conducted numerous workshops in coaching, officiating, and youth lacrosse. As a result of his efforts, 15 of his players were employed by schools in New England as teachers or coaches and started lacrosse programs. Over 40 athletes became lacrosse officials and formed the nucleus of the New England Lacrosse Officials Association.
Garber has also contributed to athletics through involvement in several professional organizations. He served a four-year term as president of the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. He was chief administrator of the North/South Intercollegiate Lacrosse Game. He spent 10 years as an executive board member of the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA), chairing its Film and Game Promotion Committee. As a member of the committee to establish the FIL World Championship, he served on the committee to transform the USILA championship to an NCAA tournament.
Garber was New England Coach of the Year nine times and College Lacrosse Coach of the year twice. He received Division I NCAA Coach of the Year honors, and upon his retirement in 1990, Garber was named Man of the Year by the USILA and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by UMass. Dick Garber passed away in 1994.