WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army lacrosse coach Jack Emmer made history Tuesday night
with a 17-14 victory over visiting Lehigh. With the win, Emmer surpassed
former Massachusetts head coach Dick Garber to become the all-time
winningest lacrosse coach at the Division I level in NCAA history. The Black
Knights' victory over the Mountain Hawks was No. 301 in Emmer's 34-year
"No. 301 took longer than expected," Emmer said. "No. 300 came back on March
11. That seems like a long time ago. It feels good to win again."
Army's win stopped a three-game losing streak and kept the Black Knights
undefeated in Patriot League play as they battle for the conference title
and an automatic bid to the 2003 Men's Lacrosse NCAA Tournament.
The late Dick Garber racked up 300 victories on the Minutemen's sideline
between 1955-1990. Emmer equaled that mark with a 10-3 win at Holy Cross
last month. Since then, the model for consistency and excellence in the game
of lacrosse had watched his charges drop three straight games to Penn, No.
20 Ohio State and No. 14 Hofstra.
Three of the top five listed on the all-time charts spent time at West
Point. James "Ace" Adams recorded 98 of his 287 career wins at Army, while
Dick Edell won 66 of his 282 games at the Academy. Trailing Emmer on the
NCAA's active wins list is Penn State's Glenn Thiel with 262 victories to
Emmer has spent the last 20 years on Army's sideline, where he has racked up
161 wins against 116 losses (.581). He has guided Army to the NCAA
Tournament five times and has won or shared the Patriot League crown nine
times in 12 seasons in the league. Emmer is one of only two coaches to reach
the final four of the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Tournament with three
different schools, leading SUNY-Cortland to the semifinals in 1972,
Washington & Lee in 1973 and 1974 and Army in 1984. Towson head coach Tony
Seaman is the only other coach to boast of that, having done it with Penn,
Johns Hopkins and Towson.
"Everywhere Jack has been, success has followed," said Duke head coach, and
former assistant under Emmer at Army, Mike Pressler. "He has a passion for
the game and a passion for his players, and he does it with integrity. He
wins the right way."
Before succeeding Dick Edell at the Academy, Emmer spent 11 seasons at
Washington & Lee in Lexington, Va. There, the Mineola, N.Y., native steered
the Generals to seven NCAA Tournaments, including six in a row. Twice he was
the national coach of the year in carving out a 108-47 (.697) slate.
Emmer has suffered through just four losing seasons in his 34 years on the
job in college lacrosse. He has coached seven Hall of Famers and 86
All-Americans. But perhaps his most telling achievement came last summer
when Emmer took a bunch of college all-stars to Australia for the
International Lacrosse Federation World Championships in Perth. The underdog
American squad returned with a perfect 6-0 record, including two victories
over heavily-favored Canada, and a gold medal.
Emmer got his start in the college coaching ranks with SUNY-Cortland. In
three short seasons, he turned the tiny upstate New York college into a
lacrosse power, leading the Red Dragons to an upset of Navy in the
quarterfinals of the 1972 NCAA Tournament and a home date with Virginia in
the national semifinals. After that magical postseason run, Emmer received
the first of three consecutive coach of the year honors and departed
Cortland State for Washington & Lee with a 32-6 coaching mark.
The 2003 edition of Army lacrosse stands at 4-4 with a non-league date at
No. 8 Rutgers coming up on Sat., Apr. 5. The Black Knights are 2-0 in the
Patriot League and tied for first place with No. 17 Bucknell.
Division I All-Time Coaching Victories
Pl. Name (Schools) Wins
1) Jack Emmer (Cortland/Wash.&Lee/Army)* 301
2) Dick Garber (UMass) 300
3) Roy Simmons Jr. (Syracuse) 290
4) James "Ace" Adams (Army/Penn/Virginia) 287
5) Dick Edell (Baltimore/Army/Maryland) 282
*indicates still active