Long-time assistant coach Paul Cantabene, who was hired by coach Dave Cottle in September 2002, begins his second season with the Maryland lacrosse program. Cantabene is a veteran lacrosse coach and player, having coached at Johns Hopkins and Towson and played at Loyola for Cottle. He has been an all-star in indoor and outdoor professional leagues.
In his first season at Maryland, Cantabene helped the Terps' offense to one of its most successful seasons in recent history. Midfielders Mike Mollot and Ryan Moran were both named All-Americans while freshman Joe Walters was named ACC Rookie of the Year and an honorable mention All-American.
Cantabene came to Maryland after serving as the offensive coordinator at Towson for the past four seasons. Cantabene was a key component in the Tigers' revival which saw them reach the 2001 NCAA semifinals with the highest scoring offense in the nation. He joined the Towson staff under the tutelage of head coach Tony Seaman, whom he had worked with at Johns Hopkins from 1996-98. Prior to his time at Towson, Cantabene served as the midfield coach for the Blue Jays. He helped Hopkins compile a 41-15 record and NCAA Tournament berths in each of the three seasons he spent on Charles Street.
He began his coaching career at the McDonogh School following his graduation from Loyola in 1993, where he worked with the attack and midfield units.
In the summer of 2002, he captured the Major League Lacrosse World Championship with the Baltimore Bayhawks in his second season in the outdoor league. He served as the Bayhawks' primary face-off specialist, taking 385 of the team's 419 draws during the season and led the team with 86 groundballs. He also tallied nine goals and added six assists for 15 points in 2002 as he was an MLL All-Star for the second consecutive season and was also named a SoBe Iron Lizard.
In the indoor game, Cantabene is in his 11th season in the National Lacrosse League, having played with the Baltimore Thunder, Pittsburgh Crossfire, Washington Power and the Philadelphia Wings, whom he joined in 2002. In his season with the Wings, he notched 18 goals and 40 assists for 58 points and won more than 60 percent of his face-offs as well as leading the team's field players in loose balls with 163. He was named the league's All-Star Game MVP in 1999 and the Thunder's Team MVP and Rookie of the Year in 1994.
Heading into the 2004 season, he had a 55.5 face-off win percentage (898-of-1619) in regular-season play. He has recorded 794 loose balls in his career, fifth-most in league history.
As a club player, Cantabene played six years for Mt. Washington Lacrosse Club (1995-2000), earning first-team All-Club five times and second-team once. He also played for the Maryland LC in 1994, earning his first first-team All-Club honor. He was named the 2000 Player of the Year in the Southern Division of the United States Club Lacrosse Association (USCLA) while playing for Mt. Washington LC. He was a first-team all-midfield, led the league in face-offs and was third in the league and first on the team with 20 goals.
Under Cottle at Loyola, Cantabene was a second-team All-American, team MVP and team captain his senior season at Loyola College in 1993 and earned a spot on the North-South All-Star Game squad. He helped the Greyhounds to NCAA Tournament bids in each of his four years and one in the NCAA championship game in 1990.
Cantabene was inducted in the Rochester Chapter of the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2003.
The 33-year-old native of Rochester, N.Y., was married on Sept. 14, 2002, to his longtime sweetheart Tracey, who currently serves as the Director of Membership at U.S. Lacrosse and as an assistant field hockey coach at Johns Hopkins. Canatbene is one of seven siblings and currently resides in Baltimore.