Gary Gait was tapped to take over the Syracuse men’s lacrosse program earlier this month after John Desko’s retirement, and now he’s added another huge name to the team’s coaching staff: Dave Pietramala.
Pietramala spent 20 years as the head coach of Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse from 2001 to 2020, winning the national championship in 2005 and 2007, taking the Blue Jays to seven Final Fours, and becoming the program’s all-time winningest coach with a 207-93 record. Now, after a year off from college coaching, he’s the defensive coordinator at Syracuse.
“I want to thank (Syracuse Athletic Director) John Wildhack and Gary Gait for this opportunity,” Dave Pietramala said in a statement. “I’m so excited to work with Gary and be on the same team as him. I’ve always had great respect for this program, its tradition and the fan support Syracuse has. I’m looking forward to being part of all that, getting to know the players and getting to work.”
Rumors about this hire had been swirling since Gait was chosen as head coach, and Inside Lacrosse reported Monday that Pietramala had verbally agreed to take the job. Syracuse made it official Tuesday.
The addition of Pietramala provides Syracuse with perhaps the greatest offensive and defensive players in the game’s history onto its coaching staff; Gait was a transformation player on the offense in his day, and Pietramala is heralded as perhaps the best defender ever, winning the Schmeisser Award in 1988 and 1989 and taking part in Johns Hopkins’ 1987 national title.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Dave to the staff here at Syracuse,” Gait said in a release. “He’s a phenomenal coach and we’re fortunate that he’s bringing his experience and track record of success to Syracuse.”
Pietramala spent the last season working for Legendary Sports Group.
“I want to thank Legendary Sports Group, Brendan Kelly and Dave Cottle for allowing me to stay involved in the sport and I appreciate the opportunity they gave me,” Pietramala said in the statement.
In the matter of eight days, Syracuse men’s lacrosse has experienced a massive shift. Following a tumultuous year on and off the field for the team, John Desko announced his retirement after commanding the Orange since 1999, bringing about more unknowns for the program.
But, Gait was immediately hired, moving over from his previous position as the head coach of the school’s women’s lacrosse squad to take over the program he once featured for on the field. Now, with the addition of Dave Pietramala, too, it appears Syracuse will boast one of the best coaching staffs in college lacrosse.