For the first time in a long time the Cortland Red Dragons will be looking for a new head coach. Longtime coach Steve Beville announced his retirement earlier this month after a 17-year run. A significant announcement for many reasons, this puts an end to one of the more remarkable coaching runs. Beville is the second coach with 400 plus wins to retire this year, with the other being Bill Tierney. With his retirement, this opens one of the premier coaching jobs in all of college lacrosse.
A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Beville graduated from West Genesee High School in 1981 and went on to enjoy a highly successful playing career at Washington College in Maryland, graduating in 1985. He was a two-time Division III National Defenseman of the Year and played in three Division III national championship games. Beville broke into coaching at Washington College as an assistant before moving on to a successful head coaching career.
Before getting to Cortland, Beville coached 10 seasons at Colorado College and eight years at the University of Vermont. His overall coaching record of 403-176 over 35 years ranks him sixth in victories all-time among coaches across all levels. While he had success at both stops, his tenure at Cortland was special.
His 255 wins with the Red Dragons rank him first in school history with an impressive 79 percent winning percentage. The Red Dragons made 4 national title game appearances with one National Title victory in 2009. He was selected as the 2009 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division III National Coach of the Year after his team capped their remarkable season with a 9-7 win over Gettysburg in the title game.
During his tenure Cortland won 13 out of a possible 16 conference championships. During that time the Red Dragons made 15 out of 16 NCAA tournaments. The SUNYAC Coach of the Decade left his mark on the Cortland program in one of the most successful runs in college lacrosse.
Beville also left his mark on the international level. He was named Head Coach for the Haudenosaunee for the 2014 World Games. He led the team to its first-ever medal with a bronze finish at the 38-nation event. Beville also served as an assistant coach on the 2012 U-19 squad that won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Finland. That tournament included the Haudenosaunee’s first ever win over a US National team in field lacrosse.
Another legend hanging up his whistle and another strong program looking for a new head coach. Cortland will be one of the more sought-after jobs for a few reasons. Long-term success shows that a coach can win there. SUNY Cortland being a state job with state benefits is also another attractive piece to the puzzle. The school itself attracts some of the best student athletes at the DIII level. It has facilities and a tremendous track record which will attract some high-quality applicants. Which way will they go? There are some high-quality alumni coaching in the college ranks who will be interested. There are also a number of coaches with Upstate ties looking to return home to the Empire State. Time will tell, but Congratulations to Coach Beef on a phenomenal career.