Syracuse officially introduced Gary Gait as the new head coach of the men's lacrosse program on Thursday. Gait came over from the women's program after more than a decade of success leading the Orange.
Gait spent 14 seasons as head coach of the women’s program, compiling a 213-75 (.740) record. He led the Orange to eight Final Fours and three National Championship games during those 14 seasons. He was named Conference Coach of the Year four times and IWLCA Regional Coach of the Year four times as well. This past season, he led Syracuse to the National Championship (where the Orange lost 16-10 to Boston College) despite injuries to three key starters, including two of the sport’s best players.
He takes over a men's program that has not won an NCAA Tournament game in four years, has been to the Final Four in eight years and has not won a National Championship in 12 years. Gait is looking to change that by promoting creativity similar to when he was a star for the Orange.
"That is definitely one of the things I want to bring to this program is heighten the level of chemistry," Gait said. "Really make the program take it to the next level on the offensive end. Really create that chemistry like I remember it being. Where in the practice, guys were experimenting, trying things, so that they could use them in a game. They were things that were unique, never been done before type plays. I'm certainly thrilled to have that opportunity to try to and bring that back to the program. Create a real buzz around where Syracuse plays again. That's definitely going to be one of my big focuses."
Those words will be music to the ears of many Syracuse lacrosse fans. To put Syracuse back on the forefront of progressive, innovative offenses. Something Gary Gait was known for as a player and as a women's lacrosse coach. The goal, of course, is to have that creativity lead to success including in the postseason. That fact is not lost on Gait, who has high expectations on how to measure that success.
"I look forward to the day when we both (men's and women's programs) can raise the National Championship," Gait said. "It's pressure I put on myself all the time. Any coaching job I've ever taken, the goal has been the same. It's to win the championship."