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Ex-Johns Hopkins coach, player Dave Pietramala joins Syracuse men’s lacrosse coach Gary Gait’s staff as defensive coordinator

Former Johns Hopkins defenseman and coach Dave Pietramala has found a new home.

Pietramala will serve as the defensive coordinator on new Syracuse men’s lacrosse coach Gary Gait’s staff. The former confirmed an Inside Lacrosse report on Twitter.

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Gait, who guided the Orange women’s team to a 213-75 record and three runner-up finishes in the NCAA Division I tournament in 14 seasons, was introduced Thursday as the successor to John Desko, who retired June 7.

Pietramala did not return several requests for comment.

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A member of the Johns Hopkins team that captured the national championship in 1987, Pietramala was a three-time first-team All-America defenseman. He received the William C. Schmeisser Award as the nation’s top defender in 1988 and 1989 and the Lt. Raymond Enners Award as the country’s best player in 1989.

Pietramala helmed Cornell from 1998 to 2000 before returning to his alma mater, where he led the program to NCAA titles in 2005 and 2007 and five more Final Four appearances from 2001 to 2020. He is the school’s all-time winningest coach with 207 victories and is the only player in college lacrosse history to capture a national championship as a player and as a coach.

Dave Pietramala coached Johns Hopkins to NCAA titles in 2005 and 2007 and five more Final Four appearances from 2001 to 2020.
Dave Pietramala coached Johns Hopkins to NCAA titles in 2005 and 2007 and five more Final Four appearances from 2001 to 2020. (Baltimore Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr.)

Since his contract was not renewed in April 2020, Pietramala has kept himself busy with his work for Fivestar Lacrosse which he founded with longtime friend and rival Dave Cottle, and has been serving as a lacrosse adviser for Cottle’s Legendary Sports Group, a sports and media company. Pietramala also has been a highly sought-after guest speaker for high school and college teams this spring.

But Pietramala — who served as an in-studio analyst for ESPN during the Final Four over Memorial Day Weekend — had said he longed to return to coaching.

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“I’m poking my nose around,” he said. “A lot of this is dependent on if people have interest in you. I’m aware there are a lot of good coaches out there, and the season hasn’t come to an end yet. So we’ll see what happens and what transpires in the next two weeks or so.”

Pietramala will try to assist Gait in reviving a Syracuse program that has stumbled in the postseason. The Orange are 7-11 in the NCAA tournament since 2010, which was the last time they won an NCAA title, and have not advanced out of the first round since 2017.

The pairing of Gait, considered the sport’s greatest offensive player, with Pietramala, regarded as the game’s top defensive player, revived memories of their times as rivals when Syracuse and Johns Hopkins battled from 1987 to 1989.

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