Denver's Bill Tierney is arguably the best coach in college lacrosse history, but he should be careful not to tarnish his legacy. Tierney, who won six national championships at Princeton, has done a great job of turning around Denver's program in recent years, but a lot of fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday weren't applauding him. Rather, they were criticizing him for his behavior during the game.
On almost every whistle, Tierney seemed to be ranting and criticizing the officials in Denver's game against Loyola. A lot of the calls were obvious, some downright blatant, but that didn't stop Tierney from running up and down the sidelines screaming at officials. In the press box, members of the media became more entertained watching Tierney than the game. That should cause him to pause, and change his behavior.
Tierney has always been a mad man on the sidelines, and his behavior was acceptable when he was younger. But he's way too old for this stuff now. The temper tantrums are taking away from what he has done at Denver, and are becoming an embarrassment to the game. There are some opposing coaches who chide officials when they play against Denver because they don't want them to become overwhelmed or intimidated by Tierney, so they play the same game by riding the officials constantly.
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Tierney is a good, polite, honest, modest Christian man. Off the field, you wouldn't be able to tell he is the same man that appears out of control on Saturday afternoons. Tierney has been great for the game of lacrosse because of his innovations and style. But at this point, he needs to modify his behavior on the sidelines. It's to the point where it might start to overshadow everything he has accomplished, and what he still might achieve.
And that would be a shame.