DURHAM, N.C.—Duke University Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White announced “” that men’s lacrosse head coach John Danowski and the school have agreed to a contract extension through 2023.
“Unequivocally, John Danowski is among the very best men’s lacrosse coaches in the history of the sport,” said Kevin White, Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics. “So, to have him continue his tenure here for at least another five years is phenomenal for Duke. Already the winningest Division I coach in the history of the sport, John has won three NCAA championships, and coached 69 All-Americans and 41 All-ACC players while at Duke. Equally impressive are the five ACC Scholar-Athletes of the Year and 22 Scholar All-Americans he has mentored during his 12 years in Durham.
“In the enterprise of college athletics,” White added, “there are people who are simply coaches and there are those who are true leaders – men or women who impact the young student-athletes they coach in profound ways. John is a once-in-a-generation leader within the men’s lacrosse landscape. We are extremely blessed to have him continue with us here at Duke, and look forward to many more amazing moments for his program.”
“Coaching at Duke University is special, and we are humbled for the opportunity to continue here,” Danowski said. “To be a part of this community – and, in particular, Duke University and its athletic department – is extremely rewarding and we could not be more appreciative of Dr. White, Dr. (Chris) Kennedy and everyone else who plays a role in the achievement of our program. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past 12 years, and we will strive for continued success academically, athletically and socially in hopes to represent our sensational institution in the best possible manner.”
Introduced as Duke’s eighth men’s lacrosse head coach in July of 2006, Danowski has directed the program to unprecedented success over his 12 seasons at the helm. A winner of 180 games at Duke, Danowski has led the Blue Devils to nine NCAA Championship Weekend appearances, five NCAA title games and ultimately to the pinnacle in 2010, 2013 and 2014. He is one of four active coaches to own multiple NCAA titles.
In the process of guiding the Blue Devils to the apex of the sport, Danowski also launched himself into the NCAA records book as the winningest Division I coach in history. With a 13-6 win over Jacksonville March 13, 2017, he surpassed longtime Virginia head coach Dom Starsia for the NCAA wins record with his 376th career victory. Danowski currently sports a 399-194 record, needing one more victory to become the first Division I head coach and just the third across all three divisions to reach the 400-win benchmark.
Danowski, widely considered one of the best teachers of the game, has mentored individual players to incredible successes on and off the field during his time in Durham. Under his watch, Duke has landed 69 players on USILA All-America teams, garnered 41 All-ACC honors, eight USILA major awards and ultimately the 2007 and 2010 Tewaaraton Awards to Matt Danowski and Ned Crotty, respectively.
He has been named the ACC Coach of the Year three times (2007, 2011, 2012) and won the F. Morris Touchstone National Coach of the Year award twice (2010, 2013) during his stay in Durham.
Danowski’s Blue Devils have been equally as successful off the field, regularly leading the league in All-ACC Academic Team selections as well as ACC Honor Roll members. Most recently, Justin Guterding became Duke’s fifth ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year since Max Quinzani won the award in 2010. In Danowski’s 12 seasons overall, Duke has placed 22 on the USILA Scholar All-America squad and six on the CoSIDA Academic All-America at-large team.
This past season, Danowski led Duke back to championship weekend for the first time since winning the title in 2014. With the appearance, the Blue Devils became lone program to have every one of its senior classes advance to a national semifinal since 2004. Seeded fourth in the tournament, Duke upset Maryland in the semifinal to advance to the championship game where it ultimately fell to No. 3 seed Yale, 13-11.
This summer, Danowski will lead the U.S. Senior National Team as the head coach at the 2018 FIL World Championships in Netanya, Israel. The United States, under Danowski’s guidance, will aim to return to the top of the lacrosse world after falling to Canada in 2014. Danowski and the U.S. open play July 12 against Iroquois Nationals.