Military Wiki
Navy Midshipmen
Location Annapolis, Maryland

The Navy Midshipmen men's lacrosse team represents the United States Naval Academy in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men's lacrosse. Navy currently competes as a member of the Patriot League and play their home games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. During the 20th century, the Midshipmen secured 17 national championships, including 2 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association titles and 15 Wingate Memorial Trophy awards. During the 1960s, a period of dominance for the Midshipmen, they won eight consecutive titles.


Lacrosse began at the Naval Academy in 1908 when two former Johns Hopkins players, Frank Breyer and Bill Hudgins, volunteered to help form a team. On April 4, they played their first game, against their co-founders' alma mater, which they lost, 1–6. In 1911, George Finlayson took over as head coach and a year later led Navy to its first undefeated season. The start of the First World War caused a cancellation of the 1917 season after just two games, but also marked the start of seven season undefeated streak. From mid-season in 1916 to the final game of 1923, Navy won 45 consecutive games.[1]

Navy playing Bucknell in the 2006 First 4.

The founder of the lacrosse program at cross-city rival St. John's, William "Dinty" Moore became the Navy head coach in 1936. He remained at the helm for 23 years, during which time he helped Navy compile six national championships.

In April 1941 Navy superintendent Rear Admiral Russell Wilson refused to allow the team to play a visiting team from Harvard University because the Harvard team included a black player. Harvard's athletic director ordered the player home and the game was played on April 4, as scheduled, which Navy won 12-0.[2]

In 1945, the Midshipmen hosted their arch-rival Army for the traditional final game of the season. The teams fought to a stalemate, and after two overtime periods, finished the season as national co-champions.[1]

In 1959, Willis Bilderback, a Rutgers alumnus, took over the program and led Navy to their "Decade of Dominance". During the 1960s, in large part due to a stifling defense and talented Hall of Fame attackman Jimmy Lewis, the Midshipmen compiled a 96–14-1 record (.865) [3] and won eight consecutive national championships, including six outright. Health problems forced Bilderback to retire after the 1972 season.[1]

He was replaced by Dick Szlasa, who coached Navy to ten consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Bryan Matthews took over in 1983, and Richie Meade replaced him in turn in 1995. Navy became a member of a conference for the first time in 2000 when it joined the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Lacrosse League. In 2004, they left the ECAC to join the Patriot League. The Midshipmen have finished first outright or tied for first every year of their membership, from 2004 to 2009. Navy has also won the Patriot League tournament five of those six years.[1][4]


Starting in 1926, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) began rating college lacrosse teams and awarding gold medals to the top teams. Navy was the recipient of one of these in 1928, alongside Johns Hopkins, Maryland, and Rutgers — each of which had only one regular-season collegiate defeat.[5] From 1936 through 1970, the USILA awarded the Wingate Memorial Trophy to the annual champion, based on regular-season records. In 1971, the NCAA began hosting an annual men's tournament to determine the national champion. The Wingate Memorial Trophy was presented to the first two NCAA Division I champions (1971 and 1972) and was then retired.

Year; National championships Coach Record
1928 USILA Gold Medal (with Johns Hopkins, Maryland, and Rutgers) George Finlayson
1929 USILA Championship George Finlayson
1938 USILA Championship William "Dinty" Moore
1943 USILA Championship William "Dinty" Moore
1945 USILA Co-Championship (with Army) William "Dinty" Moore
1946 USILA Championship William "Dinty" Moore
1949 USILA Co-Championship (with Johns Hopkins) William "Dinty" Moore
1954 USILA Championship William "Dinty" Moore
1960 USILA Championship Willis Bilderback
1961 USILA Co-Championship (with Army) Willis Bilderback
1962 USILA Championship Willis Bilderback
1963 USILA Championship Willis Bilderback
1964 USILA Championship Willis Bilderback
1965 USILA Championship Willis Bilderback
1966 USILA Championship Willis Bilderback
1967 USILA Co-Championship (with Maryland and Johns Hopkins) Willis Bilderback
1970 USILA Co-Championship (with Johns Hopkins and Virginia) Willis Bilderback

McLaughlin Award[]

Navy and Army players in action during the 2009 Day of Rivals.

The Lt. Donald McLaughlin Jr. Award — also known as the "Don McLaughlin Award" — has been given annually since 1973 by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) to the nation's most outstanding midfielder in NCAA Division I, Division II, and Division III. The award is named for Lt. (j.g.) Donald MacLaughlin Jr. (Class of 1963), an All-American, Navy midfielder, who died on a combat mission in South Vietnam in 1966.[6]

Notable players[]

  • Jimmy Lewis

Chris Dingman Eddy Holton Ian Dingman

Athletic Hall of Fame[]

For lacrosse players in the USNA Athletic Hall of Fame, see footnote.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Navy claims fifth Patriot League men's lacrosse tournament title, Patriot League, May 26, 2009.
  2. Doan, Lurita (2 August 2009). "On race, Harvard still must learn" (Newspaper editorial). Los Angeles Times.,0,4175835.story. Retrieved 11 August 2009. ; Fisher, Donald M. (2002). Lacrosse: A History of the Game. The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-6938-2. ; Gup, Ted (12 December 2004). "Southern Discomfort" (Newspaper article). Boston Globe. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  3. NCAA Archived Team-By-Team Final Statistics, Navy's Year-By-Year W/L Record, 2009.
  4. Year-by-Year Record (PDF), 2009 Navy Men's Lacrosse Media Guide, 2009.
  5. David G. Pietramala, et al., Lacrosse: Technique and Tradition, p. 15, 2006, Baltimore: JHU Press, ISBN 0-8018-8410-1.
  6. USILA Announces Player of the Year Awards for 2007. Lacrosse News webpage. LaxPower. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  7. Hall of Fame Index (by sport). Naval Academy Varsity Athletics official website. Retrieved 2010-11-10.

External links[]

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