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The lacrosse coaches are coming to Baltimore

On two out of the next five weekends, you may notice a whole lot more people wearing lacrosse jackets and all other types of logo wear identifying folks as belonging to lacrosse programs from all over the nation. The reason for this is that the IMLCA Coaches Clinic and US Lacrosse Coaches Convention are both being held in Baltimore this year.

These winter events are designed to educate coaches, hold league, regional and NCAA meetings, as well as serving as a reunion of sorts for lacrosse coaches from all over. The first event will be this weekend. It's the IMLCA Coaches Clinic and it will be held at the Marriott Waterfront so you'll see these coaches all over the Inner Harbor area from Thursday through Sunday. The second is the US Lacrosse Coaches Convention and that will be held January 16-18 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

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We'll have a preview for the US Lacrosse Convention closer to the date of the event, but the attractions include Cal Ripken Jr. as the keynote speaker and presentations by notables like Janine Tucker, women's lacrosse coach at Johns Hopkins University, Don Zimmerman, head coach of the UMBC men's lacrosse team and US Lacrosse Hall of Famer, Sue Heether, women's national team head coach, and two recent college superstars, Matt Danowski and Joe Walters who will give an on-field shooting demonstration. On Saturday, Jan. 17, from 12-4 p.m., the Fan Fest will provide live demonstrations and access to Expo Hall, where over 125 lacrosse exhibitors will be displaying the latest and greatest equipment, apparel, technology and services. This is a unique opportunity for the public to get an inside glimpse of the convention for only $10 admission. A portion of the proceeds will go to the US Lacrosse BRIDGE program for underserved lacrosse programs, usually in cities where lacrosse is less affordable.

The IMLCA clinic, this weekend at the Marriott, is presented by the college coaches themselves and features great programs, discussions, classes and demonstrations for college coaches at every level. One of the features of this year's event is especially pertinent to the young coaching audience. The IMLCA will conduct a panel discussion for assistant coaches on how to prepare to become a head coach. The panelists include Tom Calder, director of athletics at Johns Hopkins University, Kevin Cassese, head coach at Lehigh, Jeff Tambroni, head coach at Cornell, and Jon Torpey, assistant coach at Denver.

The clinic also provides coaches the opportunity to discuss issues pertaining to college lacrosse including the playing rules, lifestyle effects on athletes, coaching strategies and NCAA legislation. The schedule includes presentations by Don Zimmerman of UMBC, Jack Kaley of NYIT, Jim Berkman of Salisbury, Jim Nagle from Colgate, Joe Breschi from North Carolina, Dave Pietramala from Johns Hopkins, Bill Tierney of Princeton, Chris Bates of Drexel, Tony Seaman from Towson, Matt Kerwick from Jacksonville and Frank Fedorjaka from Bucknell.

The IMLCA event is also full of official business. The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) will conduct its meetings in conjunction with the clinic on Thursday and Friday. The second-annual IMLCA Awards Luncheon, Friday at noon, will honor coaches for their successes both on and off the field, as well as their commitment to the profession. One of the coaches being honored is Dick Edell, the University of Maryland legend who will receive the prestigious Creators Award. The award is given for "achievements in the core areas of advocacy, leadership, education, honor, spirit and service to the game of lacrosse."

"The IMLCA Board of Directors is honored to bestow The Creators Award, presented by Nike, to Coach Edell, a man who is recognized as one of the all-time greats in our sport. A man who expresses every day his love of the history, spirit and traditions for the sport of lacrosse," said IMLCA executive director Phil Buttafuoco. "As the sport of lacrosse grows, it is imperative that the lacrosse community celebrate those who have enhanced the rich foundation from which the sport has evolved."

The following information is from the IMLCA news release on Coach Dick Edell:

"Dick Edell is one of the most respected college coaches of all-time. At the time of his retirement he was ranked fifth among varsity college coaches with 282 career victories and his 17 NCAA Division I tournament appearances ranked second all-time. Edell played lacrosse at Towson and was a head coach at the University of Baltimore (1973-76), Army (1977-1983) and Maryland (1984-2001). Edell was a two-time national coach of the year and led Maryland to the NCAA championship game in 1995, 1997 and 1998.

"Big Man," as he is affectionately known on the College Park campus, led his teams to 20 NCAA Tournament appearances (17 in Division I including the 2001 selection), including 13 at Maryland.

He also led the Terps to three ACC championships (1985, 1987 and 1998) and three NCAA championship game appearances (1995, 1997, 1998).

At the time of his retirement, with a lifetime record of 282-123 over 29 years including stints at the University of Baltimore, Army and Maryland, Coach Edell was the nation's second-winningest active coach. Ironically, the only coach Edell trails on the active list was Jack Emmer (289-159), who succeeded Edell at Army in 1984.

He was named the National Coach of the Year by the USILA in 1978 and 1995. He was also selected as the ACC Coach of the Year in 1989, 1992 and 1998.

He became the seventh coach in history to pass the 400-games coached plateau. Edell won his 400th career game in the ACC semifinals on April 20, 12-8 over Virginia.

Previous recipients of The Creators Award are Sid Jamieson, Bucknell University; and Fred Acee, SUNY Farmingdale and the United States Air Force Academy.

Registration for the IMLCA Clinic is managed through the IMLCA website. Coaches may access the site at www.lacrossecoaches.org."

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