As a goalkeeper for the Dulaney boys lacrosse team in the early 1970s, Jake Reed's training consisted of standing in the net and stopping a few lazily shot balls before practice began. That habit changed at his first practice at Maryland under coach Bud Beardmore.
"My first day at Maryland, the team took off for a run, and I was hanging around," Reed recalled. "Coach Beardmore said, 'What are you doing?' I said, 'I'm just going to get warmed up.' He said, 'You better catch up.' So we did a lot of running in my first year, which was a shock for me and my body."
Clayton A. "Bud" Beardmore, the architect of the Terps' first two – and only two – NCAA lacrosse championships in 1973 and 1975, died Wednesday morning of complications related to Parkinson's at his home in Severna Park. He was 76.
Mr. Beardmore played at Annapolis High School and Severn School before attending Maryland from 1960 to 1962. By the time he had graduated, Mr. Beardmore had set a school record for career points as a midfielder with 108, a mark that was eclipsed by one of his own players in Frank Urso.
Mr. Beardmore, who began coaching at the Severn School before moving on to Hobart, Virginia and then Maryland, coached the Terps for 11 seasons, compiling an overall 91-26 record and a 28-4 Atlantic Coast Conference mark. During his tenure, the Terps went to six NCAA tournament finals and three semifinals.
Mr. Beardmore built a career coaching record of 113-38. His Terps and Cavaliers teams captured nine ACC crowns in 13 years.
Mr. Beardmore was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1980 for his dual accomplishments as a player and a coach. He has also been a member of Maryland's Athletic Hall of Fame since 1988 and the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame since 1994.
Wilson Phipps, a defenseman who switched from playing goalie at Severn, was a member of the Terps' 1975 championship team and went to two more title games in 1976 and 1979. He called Mr. Beardmore an innovator, citing his former coach's decision to take the team to Salisbury during the week leading up to the 1975 final.
"We were down there for three or four days just to train and get away from College Park and develop camaraderie," Phipps recalled. "It was after school [had ended the academic year], and as far as bonding and bringing people together, I thought that was very important."
Dick Edell, who followed Mr. Beardmore and coached Maryland from 1984 to 2001, coached Mr. Beardmore's sons Steve and Jim and said he appreciated their father's hands-off approach while watching games.
"He was always willing to help, but he never interfered," said Edell, who ranks second in school history in wins with 171. "The thing about having two sons on a team, he wasn't a coach in the stands, and I always respected that."
Both Reed and Phipps said one of their fondest memories now – perhaps not at that time – was Mr. Beardmore's insistence on order and presentation. Players spent Friday nights before Saturday games cleaning and polishing their cleats, and every locker had to be clean and look the same.
"If your locker wasn't perfect, you would come in for practice the next day, and there would be a little note that said, 'Steps.' Then you'd have to go out and run the stadium steps before practice," Reed said with a chuckle. "So you got the hint real quickly that your locker was going to be in perfect order."
As much as Mr. Beardmore emphasized uniformity, he also allowed his players concessions in the style they played the game, Phipps said.
"We were the first ones with the behind-the-back passes and those kinds of things, and he didn't stop your creativity as a player," Phipps said. "He believed in certain things, and if you could do it, go ahead and do it."
Reed said Mr. Beardmore also sought ways to change the game. He welcomed the introduction of plastic sticks to replace their wooden predecessors, traveled outside of Baltimore to recruit players, and searched for scoring midfielders to alleviate the burden on his attackmen.
"I think he changed the game of lacrosse," Reed said. "He really valued athleticism. His teams were very athletic. He was kind of a conditioning freak."
Fred Kramer, a St. Mary's graduate and an Annapolis resident, played goalie for the Terps in 1971 and 1973 and later served as Mr. Beardmore's assistant. Kramer said Mr. Beardmore, who also served as head coach of Maryland's freshman football teams, transferred some concepts he picked up in football to lacrosse.
"Buddy implemented some of the developments from football to lacrosse – such as dividing a practice into periods and also in terms of training the players," Kramer said. "Buddy emphasized the faceoff game, and Maryland was always very good at scoring directly off the faceoff. Maryland was one of the dominant programs of the 1970s, and Buddy was the reason."
Mr. Beardmore was a consistent presence at Terps home games and returned to campus as recently as last spring when the university recognized the 40-year anniversary of the 1975 championship squad. But Mr. Beardmore had been in declining health because of a 23-year battle with Parkinson's disease.
Eddie Mullen, another St. Mary's graduate who played attack at Maryland from 1972 to 1976 and is a member of both the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame, said he and several former players visited with Mr. Beardmore last weekend.
"Buddy actually opened his eyes, smirked and reacted to some of the stories we told," Mullen said.
Current Maryland coach John Tillman said he has always been impressed by the respect Mr. Beardmore had earned from his former players.
"He was so beloved," Tillman said. "His players would drop everything for Buddy Beardmore because they feel so strongly about their experience here and the impact he's had on their lives. Sometimes people don't see that. It's very clear to me that the guys who spent four years with him had their lives changed in a positive way, and to this day, you can see how important he is to them."
The Terps have advanced to eight NCAA tournament finals since 1975, but have come away empty-handed each time. While Reed and many former players think that's a coincidence, Edell paid tribute to what Mr. Beardmore's teams had accomplished.
"There have been coaches like me who in the last 41 years have been trying to do what he did twice in 1973 and 1975," Edell said. "To reach that standard, I'm pretty sure he's one of the best to ever walk a sideline."
Mr. Beardmore is survived by his wife Phyllis; three children and two spouses, James, Steve and wife Stephanie and Susan Morris and husband James; and eight grandchildren, Clayton, Hunter, Logan, Parker, Reegan, Kori, Lucy and Liza.
A memorial service for Mr. Beardmore is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church at 611 Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard in Severna Park. A reception will follow the service.
Baltimore Sun Media Group reporter Bill Wagner contributed to this article.