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Debating with your friends who’s the best Lacrosse coach?

Bill Tierney, John Danowski, or Dave Pietramala?

Here is our list of the best Lacrosse coaches of all time.

Do you agree with our picks?

Best Lacrosse Coaches:

  1. Bill Tierney
  2. John Danowski
  3. Dave Pietramala
  4. Dom Starsia
  5. Cindy Timchal
  6. Richie Meade
  7. Kelly Amonte Hiller
  8. Chris Bates
  9. Joe Alberici
  10. John Desko
  11. Tony Seaman

#1 Bill Tierney

  • πŸ† Achievements: 7x NCAA Championships, 2x NCAA Division I Coach of the Year
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1988–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Princeton University, University of Denver
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Under the guidance of Bill Tierney, lacrosse teams have reached the pinnacle of college lacrosse on numerous occasions. During his tenure at Princeton University, he transformed the team into a national powerhouse, capturing six NCAA championships.

His innovative coaching techniques and emphasis on discipline have helped reshape the landscape of collegiate lacrosse, making his teams formidable opponents on the field. In 2009, Tierney took over as head coach of the University of Denver’s lacrosse program, leading them to their first NCAA championship in 2015.

Bill Tierney’s legacy in the world of lacrosse is marked not just by his strategic expertise but also by his ability to mentor players and his significant contribution to the growth and popularity of the sport.

#2 John Danowski

  • πŸ† Achievements: 3x NCAA Championships, numerous ACC titles
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1983–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: C.W. Post, Hofstra University, Duke University
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

John Danowski has carved out a distinguished career in lacrosse coaching, taking teams to the top with his exceptional leadership and passion for the game. At Duke University, he has been instrumental in leading the Blue Devils to multiple national championships.

His approach to coaching emphasizes not only athletic excellence but also character development and sportsmanship among his players. Danowski has been recognized for his dedication to the sport and his ability to foster a winning culture within his teams.

With a career built on innovation and a commitment to excellence, John Danowski remains a significant figure in NCAA lacrosse, influencing both the current and next generation of players and coaches.

#3 Dave Pietramala

  • πŸ† Achievements: 2x NCAA Championships, 3x NCAA Coach of the Year
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1998–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Dave Pietramala stands as one of the most respected figures in college lacrosse, renowned for his success as the head coach at Johns Hopkins University. Pietramala’s tenure at Johns Hopkins was highlighted by his ability to turn the Blue Jays into perennial title contenders, securing multiple national championships.

Renowned for his defensive strategies and meticulous game preparation, Pietramala has not only achieved success on the field but has also fostered a culture emphasizing the importance of student-athletes’ academic performance.

Dave Pietramala’s name is synonymous with success in lacrosse, and he continues to be a mentor and role model for coaches and players alike.

#4 Dom Starsia

  • πŸ† Achievements: 4x NCAA Championships, 3x NCAA Coach of the Year
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1982–2016
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Brown University, University of Virginia
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

During his coaching career, Dom Starsia established himself as a legend in the lacrosse community, particularly for his remarkable run at the University of Virginia. There he created a dynasty that captured several NCAA championships.

His approach to coaching went beyond the field, as Starsia was known for his commitment to the personal development of his players, making him well-regarded among his peers and players.

Starsia’s coaching style, a blend of motivation, tactical knowledge, and innovation, made him one of the most successful and respected lacrosse coaches in the history of the sport.

#5 Cindy Timchal

  • πŸ† Achievements: 8x NCAA Championships, multiple conference titles
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1982–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Northwestern University, University of Maryland, United States Naval Academy
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Cindy Timchal is a pioneering figure in women’s lacrosse coaching, earning a reputation for excellence over an illustrious career. At the University of Maryland, Timchal’s teams dominated the sport, capturing a series of NCAA championships and setting a standard for excellence.

Her coaching philosophy centers on empowering her players and instilling a sense of confidence and teamwork, contributing to her staggering record of success.

As the first college lacrosse coach to reach 500 career wins, Timchal’s influence on the women’s game is unparalleled, and she continues to inspire the next generation of female athletes and coaches.

#6 Richie Meade

  • πŸ† Achievements: x
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1976–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: United States Naval Academy, Furman University
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Richie Meade is recognized for his significant contributions to collegiate lacrosse, especially during his lengthy tenure as the head coach at the United States Naval Academy. Meade guided the Midshipmen to a number of successful seasons and playoff appearances, cementing his status as a highly respected coach in the sport.

Meade’s coaching philosophy revolves around leadership and character-building, which aligns well with the ethos of the institutions he has been associated with. His dedication to the development of his players, both on and off the field, is highly admired.

As a member of the US Lacrosse National Hall of Fame, Richie Meade’s legacy extends beyond his coaching achievements, encompassing his role in advancing lacrosse at the collegiate level.

#7 Kelly Amonte Hiller

  • πŸ† Achievements: 7x NCAA Championships, multiple IWLCA Coach of the Year awards
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 2002–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Northwestern University
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Kelly Amonte Hiller transformed Northwestern University’s women’s lacrosse program into a national titan, amassing an impressive array of NCAA championships under her leadership. Her dominance on the collegiate stage is marked by a series of consecutive titles and an indomitable winning culture.

Her innovative approach to coaching, including dynamic offensive tactics and a strong emphasis on mental toughness, has made her one of the most successful and influential figures in women’s lacrosse.

As the architect of one of the greatest dynasties in the sport’s history, Amonte Hiller continues to be a trailblazer in the women’s game, pushing the boundaries and inspiring players to achieve their very best.

#8 Chris Bates

  • πŸ† Achievements: x
  • πŸ“… Years Active: x
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Drexel University, Princeton University
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Chris Bates is known in the lacrosse world for his head coaching stints at both Drexel University and Princeton University. His coaching career has been marked by his commitment to building competitive teams and developing skilled student-athletes.

Although specific major achievements and active years were not given, Bates is recognized for his tactical knowledge and his contributions to advancing the strategic elements of the game.

His influence in the sport is further acknowledged by his peers, and he continues to be a respected figure in lacrosse coaching circles.

#9 Joe Alberici

  • πŸ† Achievements: x
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1991–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: United States Military Academy (Army)
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Joe Alberici has been at the helm of the United States Military Academy lacrosse program, where his influence has been evident through the consistent development and competitiveness of his teams.

His leadership and coaching style reflect the values of duty and honor, which are essential principles of the academy. Alberici’s focus on creating well-rounded student-athletes is a testament to his holistic approach to coaching.

Alberici’s tenure at Army has been characterized by his dedication to the sport and his unwavering commitment to the success of his players, both on the field and in their future careers.

#10 John Desko

  • πŸ† Achievements: 5x NCAA Championships, multiple conference titles
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1999–2021
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Syracuse University
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

As the long-time head of the Syracuse University men’s lacrosse program, John Desko is one of the sport’s iconic figures. Under his guidance, the Orange secured several national championships, reinforcing the school’s storied legacy.

Desko is revered not only for his coaching accomplishments but for his ability to develop players into professionals and leaders. His knack for forging cohesive and successful teams has made him a true legend of collegiate lacrosse.

Upon his retirement in 2021, John Desko left behind a legacy that solidified his position as one of the greatest coaches in the history of lacrosse, celebrated both for his achievements and his lasting impact on the game.

#11 Tony Seaman

  • πŸ† Achievements: Several conference titles, numerous NCAA tournament appearances
  • πŸ“… Years Active: x
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, Towson University
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Tony Seaman earned recognition as a top-tier lacrosse coach through his successful tenures at multiple prestigious programs. He is known for elevating teams to competitive prominence and consistently challenging for conference and national titles.

His coaching philosophy embraced a commitment to excellence and a drive to get the best out of his players, both on the lacrosse field and in their academic pursuits. Seaman’s leadership skills were instrumental in the successes his teams enjoyed.

Though specific yearly achievements and years active were not provided, his impact on the sport remains influential, with a career marked by sustained excellence and a genuine passion for the game of lacrosse.

Capture the essence of the game and its culture with our compilation of lacrosse Instagram captions, perfect for sharing your moments and achievements.



Who is the greatest lacrosse coach of all time?

Bill Tierney is often considered the greatest lacrosse coach of all time, with seven NCAA titles, including six with Princeton.

Who was the most successful lacrosse coach?

Dom Starsia is one of the most successful lacrosse coaches, having four NCAA titles with the University of Virginia and the most wins in Division I men’s lacrosse history at the time of retirement.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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