Defensive coordinator Dave Slafkosky continues his association with the Maryland lacrosse program as he enters his 26th season with the Terps this spring. This season will be the eighth straight Slafkosky has worked with Dave Cottle after the previous 18 with his best friend, coach Dick Edell, who retired in September 2001.
Slafkosky and Edell celebrated their 25th year together in 2001 in leading the Terps to a No. 1 ranking at midseason. The duo was also featured on the cover of Inside Lacrosse magazine. Edell and Slafkosky's relationship began when the two coached together at Army from 1977-1983. When Edell came to Maryland, his only request was that "Coach Slaf" join him. Granting Edell's only request was a critical decision that ensured unprecedented success for the program. Slafkosky has continued to serve admirably under Cottle.
When Cottle came aboard as head coach in 2002, Slafkosky returned to the defensive side of the game as defensive coordinator after serving as offensive coordinator in 2001.
Last season under the on-field leadership of second team All-American Joe Cinosky, the Terps played tremendous team defense and held opponents to less than eight goals per game. Long-pole Brian Farrell and midfielder Jeff Reynolds, who began his career as a defensive short-stick, were named honorable mention All-Americans.
In 2007, injuries forced Slafkosky to play a trio of freshmen in key roles, including Brian Phipps in goal. Phipps would go on to be named the ACC's Freshman of the Year after anchoring a defense that allowed just over eight goals per game. Senior defenders Ray Megill and Stever Whittenberg were named second team All-Americans.
The 2005 season saw Slafkosky mold an entirely new defensive unit into a group that helped lead Maryland to the 2005 NCAA Final Four. Whittenberg was named a third team All-American, while goalie Harry Alford and Megill were honorable mention selections.
The 2006 season saw that 2005 defense return nearly intact and the results showed, as the Terps finished with a 12-5 record, returned to the NCAA Final Four and finished third in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing just 6.47 goals per game. Whittenberg earned second team All-America honors, while Megill was a third-team selection. Alford was a honorable mention honoree for the second straight season.
The 2004 season marked the second straight season that the Terp defense produced the National Defenseman of the Year in Lee Zink. Maryland's defense also produced first team All-Americans Chris Passavia and third team member Paul Gilllette. Goalie Tim McGinnis and defenseman Dave Wagner were honorable mention selections.
The 2003 season featured the Terps' All-American defense led by National Defenseman of the Year Michael Howley (first team) along with second teammer Passavia and third team members Zink and goalie Danny McCormick. The Terps were among the nation's leaders in defense all season, allowing just 7.25 goals per game.
In 2003 the Terps returned to the NCAA Semifinals for the fourth time in nine years and seventh in Slafkosky's 20 years at Maryland.
In 2002, the Terps continued to have the nation's premier defense as they led the nation in allowing just 6.88 goals per game for the top defense in the rankings. Slafkosky coached a pair of All-Americans in close defenders Howley and Passavia.
As the offensive coordinator in 2001, All-American attacker Andrew "Buggs" Combs became the second player in Maryland history to score 50 goals in a season. This will be Slafkosky's third stint as defensive coordinator at Maryland. Prior to the 2001 season, he served as defensive coordinator for five seasons.
Originally, Slafkosky was named defensive coordinator when he joined the Terps in 1984. After leading Maryland to the NCAA semifinals in 1987 and 1989, Edell had his old friend take over the offensive reins in 1991.
Without missing a beat, the Terps would soon experience the same success on the offensive end with Slafkosky at the wheel. Maryland would return to the NCAA semifinal in Slafkosky's first year with the offense in 1992. Under Slafkosky's tutelage, Mark Douglas would become a first-team All-American and establish the University of Maryland's single-season goal scoring mark of 51. In the same year, Rob Wurzburger would become the all-time career goal scorer with 137.
Maryland's offense would continue to be successful under Slafkosky's watch, qualifying for the NCAA's every year and reaching the finals in 1995. His most successful season came in 1995, with fellow assistant Scott Marr's new insight, as Maryland shattered the school's offensive record books. The Terps scored 235 goals and produced All-Americans in Kip Fulks and Rob Chomo. After the `95 season, Coach Slaf switched back to the defensive side knowing Maryland was in great shape with Marr running the offense.
Maryland's defense has become its trademark with its intimidating physical play. The Terps reached the finals in 1995, led by its National Defenseman of the Year, Dan Radebaugh. Defenseman Dave LaChapelle's play earned him second team All-America honors in 1997 and propelled the Terps into the championship game for the second time in three years.
Slafkosky worked heavily with 1998 ACC Player of the Year Kevin Healy, who was also a second team All-American. Slafkosky added another All-American honoree to his resume as Chris Lamy was honored by the USILA following the 1999 campaign. The 2000 season saw the emergence of a new star in goal, Pat McGinnis, who was among the nation's leaders in save percentage and goals against average throughout the season. The year culminated with McGinnis one of two Terps named All-ACC. Along with McGinnis, senior defender Casey Connor was honored as well. The solid close defenseman earned second team USILA All-American honors. It marked the fifth straight year a Terp defender earned All-American accolades - all under the tutelage of Slafkosky.
A 1974 graduate of Johns Hopkins, Slafkosky led the Blue Jays to a national championship his senior year as a midfielder.
Slafkosky and his wife of 28 years, Michelle, are the parents of four children: Daniel, Sarah, Kevin and Alex. Slafkosky continues to keep the memory of his eldest son Daniel close to him. A U.S. Marine, Daniel passed away in December 2000 at the age of 20.