- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 27, 2001

The Maryland men's lacrosse team refused to practice last night after the athletic department signed Loyola's Dave Cottle to a four-year contract yesterday morning to coach the Terrapins.
Five players Mike Mollot, Mike Morsell, Andy Burman, Mike LaMonica and Mike Howley met with Cottle last night at the team house to discuss the team's feelings with the coach. The players would not comment on the situation, and Cottle said he would meet individually with every player today.
"They're working through some things," said Cottle, 46, who spent the past 19 years at the helm of Loyola in Baltimore. "They're not done working through them. They were very respectful and thoughtful. We're going to try to lift [weights] on Friday."
The team wanted interim coach Dave Slafkosky to take over the job full time. When it did not happen, they protested last night's practice, and did not attend. Slafkosky was there, and will meet with Cottle today to discuss his future with the team. Slafkosky said yesterday afternoon that he "supported the players being at practice." He did not comment further on the coaching change or his plans.
Cottle, who signed a four-year contract worth $85,000 a year, was the clear choice by the athletic department, but not by the team. Athletic director Debbie Yow made it clear that the department's goal was to "have the most successful and proven coach available."
"As is the case with every coaching change, the choice was not unanimous," Yow said in a statement. "The players representatives' opinions were taken into consideration but there were many other opinions and recommendations. It is not an election by popular vote."
Said Cottle, the Terps eighth lacrosse coach: "[The job] has always been something I've thought about. It's bittersweet [leaving Loyola] but it's a great honor."
Clearly, the players would have liked Slafkosky, who took over as interim coach when Dick Edell stepped down due to health reasons a little more than three weeks ago, or Gary Gait, arguably the greatest lacrosse player ever and current assistant for the Maryland women's team, to lead them.
Slafkosky was Edell's right-hand man for 25 years, 18 in College Park. It is doubtful, though, that he or assistant Jon Stainbrook, who are both under contract this year, will remain on the staff, a source in Maryland's athletic department said. Gait had no comment, and met with women's coach Cindy Timchal yesterday to discuss his future with the Terps, who he has helped lead to seven straight national championships.
"We heard so many stories and rumors about how the Loyola team was run and we really did not want to go that direction," a senior player told E-lacrosse.com. "We've all had connections over the years with guys at Loyola and we know what we don't want."
Another player told the Web site: "We wanted Gary Gait. We can't imagine why that wasn't the obvious choice. He's the best that ever picked up a stick and a pioneer in the way we play the game today. We were all looking forward to making a fresh start with Gait as our coach."
Cottle's teams have been known for high-powered offenses with very little defense. His squads also have been notorious underachievers in the playoffs. He is 8-13 in the NCAA tournament, with two final four appearances. His teams have been bounced in the first round four times, including the past two years.
Cottle, a Baltimore native, has led his team to nine quarterfinals. The Greyhounds were eliminated as the higher seed three times, including in 1999, when they were the top seed. In his only finals appearance, Cottle lost to a Gait-led Syracuse squad 21-9 in 1990.

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