Legends of the Game

In the seventy-seventh edition of “Legends of the Game”, we look at the career of Dave Pietramala.

Dave Pietramala (born 1967) is the former head coach for the Johns Hopkins University Men’s Lacrosse team. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensemen in lacrosse history, and is a member of the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame. He is the only person to win a men’s lacrosse NCAA national championship as both a player and coach, and the only person to be named both player and coach of the year. 

Born in Hicksville, New York, he went to St. Mary’s High School.

College:

Dave chose to attend Johns Hopkins University at the advice of his father, George, who wanted him to play for the lacrosse powerhouse. Pietramala stated that he originally intended to go to the University of Maryland: “I loved Coach [Dick] Edell and loved Maryland … I grew up a huge basketball fan and they had Len Bias, Keith Gatlin and Lefty Driesell. I thought it was all set. I was going to Maryland.”

At Hopkins, Pietramala was a member of the 1987 National Championship team. He won the Schmeisser Award as the nation’s top defenseman in 1988 and 1989 and the 1989 Enners Award as the nation’s top player. He was also named a first-team All American three times while at Hopkins.

Pro Lacrosse:

Pietramala also played at the club level for the storied Mount Washington Lacrosse Club in the 1990s, the professional level for the Pittsburgh Bulls in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League, and nationally for the United States Men’s National Lacrosse team. He won two world championships in the International Lacrosse Federation World Championship, was named All-World in both 1990 and 1994, and Best and Fairest Player (MVP) in 1990.

In addition to these awards, Pietramala was named to the NCAA Silver Anniversary Team in 1995, the All-Time Johns Hopkins Team, and Lacrosse Magazine’s All-Century Team.  He was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2004.

Coaching:

After 1991, Pietramala took jobs as an assistant coach at Gilman School, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Loyola College before returning to Johns Hopkins as its defensive coordinator in 1995. In 1998 he took over the head coaching job at Cornell University, where he was named the national Coach of the Year in 2000.

In 2001, he took the head coaching position at his alma mater, where he revitalized the Hopkins program. In his 20 years at the helm, the Blue Jays had a 207-93 record nine NCAA Tournament appearances, six NCAA Final Four appearances, National Championship game appearances in 2003 and 2008, and the 2005 and 2007 National Championships.

In April 2020, after the 2020 season was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins announced that they had mutually agreed to part with Pietramala, ending his tenure as the head coach.

Inducted to the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2004.

References:

– Wikipedia
– US Lacrosse Hall of Fame

– Hopkins Sports
– uslaxmagazine.com

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