John Galloway, Head Coach of the Jacksonville Dolphins. That is not something that I expected to happen this year. Galloway, a former Syracuse Orange goaltendeter, will lead the Dolphins with another former SU player, Casey Powell, as the offensive coordinator.
There are so many aspects to this move. First up, let's look at a refresher at who these guys are.
Galloway, a West Genny grad, four year starter at ‘Cuse, and a two-time first team All-American, led the Orange to the 2008 and 2009 National Championships. After serving as an assistant head coach at Duke for one year he joined the Providence Friars coaching staff as an assistant coach where he spent four years.
- Sixth in SU career saves with 601
- First, second, third, and seventh best season GAA in Syracuse history
- First in SU career GAA at 7.33
- Ninth in SU career save percentage at .566
- 59-8-0 SU record
- 2011 C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award as nation's best goaltender
- 2010 and 2011 USILA first team All-American
- 2010 and 2011 Big East Goalkeeper of the Year and first team All-Big East
- 2011 Tewaaraton Award Finalist
- Three Class A state title game appearances in high school winning the 2005 Championship
Casey Powell, the eldest of the Powell brothers, still stands as one of the best players ever to hit a lacrosse field. He helped cement the infamous #22 at ‘Cuse where he pulled in 287 points, tied for second most of all time along side his younger brother Ryan. Only Mikey Powell has more points in Syracuse history with 307.
- Tied first and tied ninth for most goals in a game at SU with nine and seven respectively
- Fourth in SU career goals with 158
- Tied fourth and tied seventh for most assist in a game at SU with eight and seven respectively
- Sixth in SU career assists with 129
- First for most points in a game at SU with 14
- Tied 11th at SU for most points in a season (1997) with 83
- Tied second in SU career points with 287
- Two time Lt. Raymond Enners Award winner (best college lacrosse player) in 1997 and 1998
- Four time All-American
- Jack Turnbull Award winner (best college attackman) in 1998
- MacLaughlin Award winner (best college midfielder) in 1996
This is a huge move for a program like Jacksonville, the southern most outpost in men's college lacrosse. Not only does JU pick up two excellent coaches, but the program now has notoriety that it previously lacked. Prior to last week, I can't imagine many people who casually followed the game knew that Jacksonville had a D1 team. Suddenly though, the Dolphins are a known entity.
Any time you have alumni moving into roles like this it adds to a program's legacy and prominance. Whatever you think of the state of Syracuse Lacrosse, it is still one of the most notorious programs in the college game. Just the fact that Jacksonville picked up two new coaches with a Syracuse pedigree is a big deal for folks in Florida. It will certainly help the Syracuse brand continue to expand southward, and with a growing high school game in the state, that could pay off dividends for the next generation of players.
It also adds to the attractiveness for playing for John Desko. As his coaching tree continues to grow, recruits can look to this move as another avenue for their post-collegiate lives. Not only can you get an excellent education at SU and play for a National Championship, but if you came and played at ‘Cuse then there is already a roadmap to continue coaching in the sport.
Syracuse could be seeing future dates with Jacksonville on the schedule. There was a lot of discussion about this on Twitter when this coaching change was announced. Whether it is in fall-ball or the regular season, I would expect the Dolphins to make at least one trip to the Carrier Dome in the next five years or so. Appearances by Jacksonville at the Carrier Dome won't help Syracuse recruiting, but a future date in Florida is also possible. While I expect Jacksonville to come North first, eventually SU could travel to the state of Florida. I wouldn't be thrilled for SU to play at Jacksonville but I think an event in the Miami or Orlando area could add to the Orange recruiting footprint, and that's what I'd like to see. Of course this would mean that Syracuse would likely have to drop a current opponent off the schedule. In terms of which games SU would get rid of first I would think Binghamton, St. John's, and Army would be the logical choices.
In the greater landscape of college lacrosse this could potentially elevate the SoCon. The way I see things, the conferences of college lacrosse are divided into three tiers. Tier one is the Big Ten and ACC, tier two with the Ivy and Patriot Leagues and tier three with everyone else. The SoCon had some big wins this year and close games this year including:
Denver 10 - Air Force 9
Air Force 10 - Duke 9 OT
Richmond 12 - Duke 10
High Point 12 - Virginia 11 OT
With Richmond, Air Force, and High Point getting better, Jacksonville's move to bring in two big time coaches could help elevate the conference.
No matter what happens, it is good to see Powell and Galloway get this opportunity.