Navy Head Coach Richie Meade
Career Record -- 165-111, .598 (20 Yrs)
Navy Record -- 138-88, .611 (16 Yrs)
2004 Morris Touchstone Memorial Award
2004, `07 Patriot League Coach of the Year
2009 Peter Kohn Award
Navy head coach Richie Meade, one of the most successful coaches in NCAA history, is also one of the most sought after coaches in the game today. Synonymous with leadership and discipline, Meade embarks on his 21st season as a collegiate head coach and 17th at the Naval Academy with one thing on his mind - leading the Midshipmen to a National Championship. While it's not a simple task, the 2004 National Coach of the Year has orchestrated the resurgence of Navy lacrosse over the last seven seasons. Though playing in the 2004 National Championship Game thrust Navy lacrosse back into the national limelight, the Mids fell two goals short of earning their first NCAA lacrosse title and two goals shy of returning to the national semifinals in `05. While it had the lacrosse community buzzing, it's left Meade and his Midshipmen hungry for the opportunity to return to the National Championship Game and their chance at etching their name on that coveted trophy.
Not only has Meade kept Navy on par with the growth of lacrosse, the program continues to be lauded for its accomplishments. Navy is one of just 13 teams all-time to appear in the National Championship Game, including one of nine to make multiple appearances. Additionally, Meade's Mids have been invited to the national tournament in six of the last seven seasons. Only one other time in program history (1971-82) has Navy made as many consecutive trips (six) to the NCAA Tournament.
Navy has won 69.4 percent of its games over the last seven seasons and is ranked seventh nationally in wins with 77. Meanwhile its winning percentage is also the seventh best among the national powers. In six of the last seven years, including six straight from 2004-09, the Midshipmen have reached double-digit wins, marking the first time in school history they have achieved that feat. Navy posted a school-record 15 wins in 2004 and the second-most wins in 2005 with 12. The Mids turned in back-to-back 11-4 records in 2006 and `07, posted a 10-6 mark in `08 and produced an 11-5 record in `09. The Class of 2007 graduated as the winningest class (wins) in school history with a 49-15 record, while the grads from 2006 and `08 produced 44 wins, the second most in school history.
Additionally, Navy owns a remarkable six-year 36-7 (.837) record in Patriot League action and has won at least a share of the regular-season title in five of the seven seasons it has been a member of the conference. The Mids have also won five of the seven tournament crowns, including the 2009 championship when Navy clipped Colgate in triple overtime before upsetting top-seeded Bucknell, 9-8, to earn the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
The Rise of Navy Lacrosse
After playing in the 2004 National Championship, the hunger to make a return trip was a driving force throughout the 2005 campaign. It was that drive that helped the Mids overcome obstacles thrown their direction every step of the way, which included multiple injuries.
Despite being short-handed and banged up most of the season, the Mids produced a 12-4 record, claimed their second-consecutive Patriot League Tournament title and made a return trip to the NCAA Tournament as the fifth seed. The Mids produced a first-round victory over Delaware at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, but dropped a two-goal decision against sixth-ranked Virginia at Homewood Field in Baltimore in the quarterfinals. The last time Navy won back-to-back first round games was the 1987, `88 and `89 seasons in which the Mids claimed opening-round wins over Brown, Harvard and Penn, respectively.
Seven of Navy's last eight games of the season were against nationally-ranked opponents and the Mids posted a 4-3 record which featured a pair of victories over arch rival Army. The Midshipmen also posted a 9-8 win over Maryland during that eight-game stretch, their first win over the Terps in Annapolis since 1985. It also marked the first time since 1980 and `81 in which Navy has won back-to-back contests against Maryland. Nine Midshipmen were named to All-Patriot League teams, while six players garnered All-America recognition.
In 2006, Navy fought its way back to the NCAA Tournament for a third-consecutive year routing 14th-ranked North Carolina (11-3), defeating arch rival and nationally-ranked Army twice and picking off fourth-ranked Maryland on its home field along the way. Despite winning a share of its third-straight Patriot League regular-season crown, Navy was forced to defend its title on neutral territory when the Mids cruised past Lehigh and Army to win their third-consecutive Patriot League Tournament and earned the league's automatic bid to play in the NCAA Tournament. It was in Washington, D.C. where the Mids' season was cut short by a come-from-behind win by fourth-ranked Georgetown in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Navy opened its 2007 campaign on a remarkable roll, winning its first eight contests, including an impressive 19-8 victory over No. 5 North Carolina. The Mids, however, dropped three of their next four games by a combined three goals. Navy rebounded by defeating Army and Colgate in the Patriot League Tournament to win its fourth-straight conference title and earn the league's automatic bid to play in the NCAA Tournament.
Eleven Midshipmen were named to All-Patriot League teams, while Richie Meade was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year for the second time in four years. Meanwhile, Billy Looney was named a First-Team All-American and defenseman Jordan DiNola was named to the honorable mention squad for the second-straight year.
Heading into the 2008 campaign, there were more questions than answers for Meade. While Navy's defense remained nearly intact from the previous year, its offense was decimated by graduation and injuries. Navy answered the critics by winning eight of its first nine games - dropping a heartbreaker in overtime to sixth-ranked Cornell, while taking overtime wins over NCAA Tournament qualifier Ohio State and Bucknell.
Six of Navy's last seven games, however, were against nationally-ranked foes who seemed to solve the Mids. After getting clipped in OT by Georgetown, Navy came back to take a 5-4 victory over No. 3 Maryland on the road, its first win over a top-three program since beating the Terps in 2004 when they were ranked No. 1. What followed, however, was a three-game skid, including a 12-9 loss to Colgate in the opening round of the conference tournament. Despite the slide at the end of the regular season, the Midshipmen received an at-large bid to play in the NCAA Tournament where they would go on and beat fourth-seeded North Carolina, 8-7, in Chapel Hill. Arch rival Johns Hopkins, however, played the spoiler in Annapolis on May 17, as the Blue Jays ended Navy's season in the quarterfinals.
Jordan DiNola, who was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, became just the 33rd player in school history to earn All-America kudos three times, as he was named to the second team, while Nick Mirabito completed his collegiate career seventh on the Mids' career scoring list and was an Honorable Mention All-America selection.
A return trip to the NCAA Tournament was the highlight of a 2009 season that saw the Mids face their fair share of adversity. Three frustrating one-goal losses and three changes in the goal were quickly erased by a run from the Mids that would give them the much-needed momentum at just the right time of the year. Meade called upon senior keeper Tommy Phelan to step into the cage on March 28 against Georgetown. It was just what the doctor ordered, as the Mids snapped a five-game skid against the Hoyas, 10-8. The following week, the Mids man-handled No. 8 Maryland, 10-4, in front of a national television audience staged at the country's premier lacrosse venue, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial stadium. And on April 11, the Mids clamped down on Army at the Day of Rivals in Baltimore, earning an N-Star and bragging rights for the year.
Navy's quest for a fifth Patriot League crown began with a triple overtime win over Colgate, thanks to junior middie Joe Lennon who scored the final three goals of the game. The Mids then utilized both ends of the field without flaw to upset top-seeded Bucknell and earn the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Junior attackman Tim Paul paced Navy with 32 points on 18 goals and 14 assists to garner Honorable Mention All-American honors, while junior attackman Brendan Connors erupted for a team-high 21 goals. Meanwhile, Navy's man-down unit was ranked No. 1 in the country, yielding just six goals on 40 attempts (.150). The Mids' 7.61 goals-against average was ranked eighth nationally.
Navy's 2010 season could best be described using a single word - adversity. The Mids opened their season against VMI by being called for a pair controversial illegal sticks, a manufacturer's nightmare that was spread amongst the lacrosse community. The following game vs. Loyola, not only did Navy lose senior All-American attackman Tim Paul to a season-ending knee injury, it would be the first of five overtime games the Mids would be a part of and the first of seven one-goal games over the course of the season. Navy won three of the five extra-minute affairs, but dropped four of the seven one-goal contests.
Navy's three overtime wins would be spectacular, including the Mids' come-from-behind victory over Colgate on the road where senior All-American Patrick Moran would score his second game-winning overtime goal. However, the one that will be remembered for seasons to come came on April 24 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Junior attackman Andy Warner stuck a shot past Blue Jays keeper Pierce Bassett to lead Navy to a 9-8 OT victory over Johns Hopkins, ultimately snapping a 36-game losing streak which began in 1975.
The Mids turned in a 4-2 record in Patriot League action and gained the No. 2 seed in the tournament which was played at West Point. Navy avenged the program's first loss to Lafayette by scoring an 11-9 victory against the Leopards in the Patriot League Tournament semis. However, Navy's quest for a six Patriot League title was squelched by archrival Army, 11-8, in the championship showdown.
2004: A Season to Remember
The year 2004 will forever be etched into the Navy lacrosse annals. Most considered the Mids' season a Cinderella story. But the blood, sweat and tears spoke volumes for the Navy squad that fought to play in the program's first National Championship game since 1975.
Over the course of the season, several milestones were achieved, including a school-record 15 wins. In addition to recording the most wins in Academy history, Navy earned its highest ranking -- No. 2 -- for five-consecutive weeks. Its 9-6 win over Maryland was the program's first win over a top-ranked program and one-of-six Navy wins over top-10 ranked teams. The Academy also attracted better than 18,500 fans to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to witness No. 1 Johns Hopkins battle No. 2 Navy in a 10-9 overtime Blue Jay decision. Along the way, Meade helped orchestrate Navy's seventh-consecutive Star Game victory against arch rival Army.
After sweeping through the Patriot League with a 7-0 record in its first season as a member of the league, Navy conquered Colgate and Hobart in the league's postseason tourney to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Hobart win came with an added bonus, marking Meade's 100th-career victory.
By virtue of its Patriot League Tournament win, Navy earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, making its first appearance since 1999. The Midshipmen went on to gain the nation's support as they fought their way through the NCAA Tournament. First defeating Penn handily, 11-5, at home and then surviving a battle against seventh-seeded Cornell on the Big Red's home turf. Navy made it to the coveted national semifinals where it beat eighth-ranked Princeton, 8-7, before succumbing to Syracuse by a goal in the finale with better than 40,000 fans looking on.
By year's end, seven Mids garnered All-America kudos, including keeper Matt Russell who was named a First-Team All-American and the winner of the Ens. C. Markland Kelly Award as the nation's top goalkeeper. Meade was the recipient of the Morris Touchstone Memorial Award, given to the National Coach of the Year. He is just the fourth Naval Academy coach to earn the Touchstone Award.
Navy's Seventh Head Coach
In 1995, Meade joined the Naval Academy where he was named the program's seventh head coach and now leads the Midshipmen into their 102nd season as a varsity sport at the Naval Academy. It was a homecoming of sorts, as he served as an assistant coach for the Mids for five years under then-head coach Bryan Matthews from 1984-88.
Meade has spent the past 14 years renewing the tradition of Navy lacrosse and implementing an aggressive style of play that has been the program's trademark. Since coming to the Academy, there has been at least one Midshipman who has earned All-America honors, including three-time honorees Andy Ross (`97) and Chad Donnelly (`00), 2006 graduates Steve Looney and Matt Russell, Billy Looney (`07) and Jordan DiNola (`08). Meanwhile, two-time First-Team All-America Mickey Jarboe was named the Kelly Award winner in 1999 and 2000 and Russell claimed the award in `04.
In his first season at Navy, the Mids posted a 6-6 mark, as both coach and team adjusted to a new system. The Mids hoped to improve on that record in '96, but a mere four points kept Navy from celebrating a 7-5 record, and the team finished 4-8 overall. In 1997, Navy jumped out to a 4-0 record and a No. 4 national ranking, only to lose its final four games and finish at an even 6-6. In 1998, Meade's squad posted its first .500-plus season since his arrival, thanks in part to returning six of the top seven scorers from `97.
The year 1999 saw the Mids return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994. The Mids earned an at-large bid after producing a 7-7 record with impressive wins over North Carolina and Georgetown.
In 2000, the Mids associated themselves with a conference -- the ECAC -- for the first time in program history. Meade's squad finished tied for first with Georgetown, however, the Hoyas posted a 14-10 win over the Mids in Washington, D.C. to win the head-to-head tie breaker. In 2001 and 2002, the Mids recorded identical 8-5 records and both years they finished third in the league.
The Journey to Navy
A native of Williston Park, N.Y. on Long Island, Meade played at Nassau Community College before transferring to North Carolina where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976, as well as a Master of Science degree in 1979.
After working in the recreation field and as an assistant coach at Duke, he was named an assistant at North Carolina in 1979. A year later, he earned his first head coaching job at the University of Baltimore, where he had a four-year record of 27-23. The school dropped its athletic program in 1983. He then came to Navy for five years (1984-88) as an assistant lacrosse coach and Assistant Professor of Physical Education. During that period, he served as defensive coordinator for the lacrosse program.
From 1989-90, he was an assistant at North Carolina, serving as offensive coordinator and attack and midfield coach. Meade moved on to Army in 1991 as offensive coordinator and attack position coach.
A Leader, Teacher, Family Man
Meade serves as President of the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) which was created to help build the game of lacrosse, become the premier organization providing coaches development and monitor the integrity of the game. Its membership is comprised of individual collegiate coaches. In addition, the IMLCA has created relationships with the high school boys lacrosse coaches and the collegiate club lacrosse coaches to benefit from the initiatives of the IMLCA.
The Director of the Navy Lacrosse Camp, Navy offers 10 camps throughout the year ranging from day camps to extended stay camps, individual and team camps.
In addition to coaching lacrosse, Meade is a tenured full professor in the Naval Academy Physical Education Department. He has taught a range of activities and personal defense classes including kayaking and boxing. The Physical Education Department is tasked with accomplishing one third of the mission of the Naval Academy, to prepare midshipmen physically to become professional Navy and Marine Corps officers. This mission is accomplished through a thorough and rigorous course of instruction in the fundamentals of swimming, personal defense, lifetime fitness and recreational sports, and through the regular administration of the Physical Readiness Test. Midshipmen must meet physical education requirements during their four years at the Naval Academy in order to graduate.
In December of 2007, he was appointed a member of the USA Boxing Foundation Board of Trustees. USA Boxing is the national governing body of amateur, Olympic-style boxing, and is the United States' member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA).
In the fall of `06, he was invited by the Brigade of Midshipmen to speak at the Corbin Leadership Conference. He was the head coach for the South Team in the '95 North-South Lacrosse All-Star Game.
Meade and his wife, Sue, were married in the fall of 1998 and have three daughters, Jillian, Shannon Grace and Cassidy.