The Washington Times - July 13, 2012, 02:30PM

Georgetown lacrosse coach Dave Urick announced his retirement Friday after 23 years at the school.

Urick, who led the Hoyas to 11 NCAA tournament bids and one final four, will remain at the school as a special assistant to the athletic director.

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A message left on Urick’s office voicemail was not immediately returned.

Urick won 10 Division III titles at Hobart in the 1980s, then was hired by Georgetown to transform a complete afterthought of a program that hadn’t recorded a winning season in 20 Division I seasons into a perennial winner. He did just that, never suffering a losing season and gradually building toward the school’s first NCAA lacrosse tournament bid in 1997.

The Hoyas reached the final four two years later, and appeared ready to entrench themselves among the national elite. In a way they did, reaching 11 straight NCAA tournaments and finishing no lower than eighth in the national rankings in any of those seasons. Along the way, recognizable stars like Greg McCavera, Steve Dusseau, Kyle Sweeney, Andy Corno and Brodie Merrill emerged.

Yet the Hoyas also earned a reputation for hitting a ceiling in the quarterfinals, stumbling in that round a record six straight years between 2002 and 2007. Then the Hoyas took a step back, missing the tournament altogether the last five years, enduring near-misses in 2008 and 2010 while narrowly avoiding losing seasons the last two years.

In a release, Georgetown said it would conduct a national search. One logical candidate is Matt Kerwick, a former coach at Hobart and Jacksonville who returned to Georgetown for his second stint as an assistant coach last year.

Whoever gets the job will inherit a senior-heavy team. A whopping 67.7 percent of the Hoyas’ game started last season were earned by juniors.

Patrick Stevens