Images from Notre Dame's season that culminated in a run to the NCAA title game
Kevin Corrigan is entering his 27th season on the Fighting Irish sideline in 2015. Since his arrival on campus in 1988, Corrigan has built Notre Dame into one of the premier men's lacrosse programs in the country. He boasts a 253-120 (.678) record during his impressive Notre Dame tenure, which currently is the second longest among active Division I men's lacrosse head coaches.
Inheriting a program that had never earned a berth in the NCAA Championship, Corrigan has made the Irish a staple in the postseason. He has led the Fighting Irish to Championship Weekend four times, including three appearances in the last five seasons. Notre Dame finished as the national finalist in 2010 and 2014 and the Irish were national semifinalists in 2001 and 2012. Notre Dame has finished as NCAA quarterfinalists five times under Corrigan (1995, 2000, 2008, 2011, 2013).
Notre Dame has garnered 19 invitations to the NCAA Championship since 1990, including a current run of nine straight trips, which is a program-best streak. Notre Dame and Maryland are the only two schools to appear in the NCAA Championship in each of the last nine seasons. The Irish have made five straight quarterfinal appearances and have received a national seed and a first-round home game six times in the past seven years.
Corrigan's Irish squads have won 17 conference titles, including the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, and have finished in the top-20 of the national rankings in 21 of the last 22 campaigns. Notre Dame has been adept at winning big games under Corrigan, registering 91 victories over nationally-ranked opponents, including 33 vs. top-10 foes.
At least one Irish player has garnered All-America accolades in each of the last 22 years, with 35 individuals earning a total of 63 All-America honors. The Irish have had multiple All-America honorees in each of the last 10 seasons and a program record six players received All-America citations in 2011.
The Fighting Irish also have hauled in numerous amounts of all-conference hardware under Corrigan's direction.
Notre Dame was a member of the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) from 1994-2009 and during that time, six Irish players were named the GWLL player of the year. Notre Dame student-athletes gained all-GWLL accolades on 94 occasions, an average of nearly six per season. Corrigan was named the GWLL coach of the year fives times, including in 2009, which was the final season for the conference. Notre Dame also won the only two GWLL tournaments ever held (2008 & 2009).
In four seasons of BIG EAST Conference play Notre Dame garnered 23 all-league honors. David Earl became the first Irish player to capture a major postseason award from the conference as he was selected the midfielder of the year in 2011. Three such awards came Notre Dame's way in 2012 as John Kemp was named the conference's goalkeeper of the year, Kevin Randall took home the defensive player of the year award and Corrigan was tapped as the BIG EAST coach of the year for the first time. That upped his conference coach-of-the-year award tally to six.
The Fighting Irish made a big splash in their inaugural ACC campaign in 2014 as they won the league tournament with wins over Maryland and Syracuse. Sophomore attackman Matt Kavanagh and senior defenseman Stephen O'Hara were named to the All-ACC Team, while Kavanagh also was named MVP of the ACC Championship and he concluded the season with single-season program records for points (75) and assists (33).
The ACC title run ignited the team's march through the NCAA Championship. The Irish garnered the No. 6 seed and topped Harvard, 13-5, in the first round at Arlotta Stadium. Notre Dame used an unbelievable comeback to force overtime against Albany in the quarterfinals before topping the Great Danes, 14-13. The Irish then met Maryland for the third time in just over a month and defeated the Terrapins, 11-6, to reach the national title game for the second time in program history.
It was a rematch of the 2010 national championship showdown between Notre Dame and Duke and despite a late surge by the Irish they fell 11-9 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The Fighting Irish finished the 2014 campaign with a 12-6 record.
Kavanagh, O'Hara and junior midfielder Jack Near copped All-America honors from the USILA in `14. O'Hara also was a USILA Scholar All-American, a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and was one of six Notre Dame representatives on the All-ACC Academic Team.
Moving to the BIG EAST was not the only significant change for the Fighting Irish in 2010 as the team began play in its state-of-the-art facility, Arlotta Stadium. Playing in a top-level league and in the multi-million dollar stadium will help Corrigan keep the Notre Dame program among the nation's best for years to come. The last seven seasons have witnessed the Fighting Irish achieve unprecedented success within the program and cement itself as one of the nation's top teams. Since the beginning of the 2008 campaign the Irish rank third nationally in wins (86) and winning percentage (.754).
In 2008, Notre Dame played host to an NCAA tournament game for the first time. The 2009 campaign featured the Irish posting the first undefeated regular season (13-0) in program history before extending their record to a school-best 15-0 in the GWLL tournament. Notre Dame reached its first NCAA title game in `10 and followed that up by achieving the No. 1 national ranking during the `11 regular season.
The Fighting Irish returned to the top of the polls twice during the 2013 regular season before garnering the No. 2 seed for the NCAA Championship. That signified Notre Dame's highest seed ever for the tournament. The Irish earned the seed with an impressive resume that featured five wins over top-five teams and they boasted the nation's No. 1 RPI.
Notre Dame topped Detroit, 9-7, in the first round of the '13 tournament to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fourth straight season and for the eighth time under Corrigan. The season came to an end with a 12-11 setback to Duke at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Kavanagh combined for seven goals and three assists in the two NCAA tournament games and finished the season with 32 goals, which established a program record for a freshman. He was one of four Fighting Irish players to earn All-America accolades from the USILA in `13. Kemp copped All-America honors for the third straight season, while senior defenseman Matt Miller and junior midfielder Jim Marlatt both received their second citation.
Notre Dame checked off another program-first in 2012 by winning the BIG EAST regular-season title. The Irish posted a perfect 6-0 league mark and went 13-3 overall. The Fighting Irish had the nation's top defense by allowing just 6.31 goals per game. That signified the fourth consecutive season that Notre Dame finished first or second nationally in team defense. The Irish also had the nation's top man-down defense in `12 (.892).
Kemp and Randall were named to the 2012 USILA All-America First Team. Kemp's first-team nod earned him the Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top goalie. He joined his older brother Joey, the 2008 recipient, as the only other Notre Dame player to cop the award. They are the only brother duo to receive the award, which has been presented since 1949. The Kemp duo is among five Notre Dame goalies that have received All-America honors under Corrigan's tutelage.
Notre Dame garnered the No. 4 seed for the `12 NCAA Championship and captured a 13-7 home victory over Yale in the first round. The Irish knocked off fifth-seeded Virginia, 12-10, in the quarterfinals to advance to the national semifinals for the third time in school history. A 7-5 setback to Loyola, the eventual champion, ended Notre Dame's bid for its first national title.
Corrigan has taken the Fighting Irish program to a level where they are in serious contention for the NCAA crown year in and year out. He has changed the mindset of how Notre Dame is viewed on the national landscape of college lacrosse. Corrigan and his staff have helped grow the sport of lacrosse in the state of Indiana and all over the Midwest by conducting clinics and showcasing a top-10 team that fans in the region are able to come and watch. Those efforts helped Indianapolis land the 2013 NCAA quarterfinals.
The work that Corrigan has done in shaping Notre Dame into one of the top lacrosse programs in the country has not gone unnoticed. In 2009, he was honored with the Frenchy Julien Service Award from the USILA. The award is presented in honor of former Chief Referee, Joseph R. "Frenchy" Julien for outstanding and continuous service to the sport.
Corrigan has continued the tradition of academic success for the Notre Dame men's lacrosse program. Since first competing on the varsity level in 1981, every Irish lacrosse senior has graduated. Three players since 1997 have gained Academic All-America honors, while 16 Notre Dame student-athletes have been named Scholar All-Americans by the USILA.
In 2012, Randall was named a USILA Scholar All-American, a Senior CLASS Award finalist and he received the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award. In addition, sophomore Tyler Brenneman became the first Irish player to earn the Elite 89 Award, which is presented to the player with the highest grade-point average from all of the teams that advanced to the national semifinals. Miller was a finalist for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award along with being a USILA Scholar All-American.
Many of the best players in Notre Dame history have played under Corrigan, as his graduates include each of the top five point scorers in the program's history, six of the top seven goal scorers and each of the top six players on the career assist list.
Playing beyond the college level has been a reality for a number of Corrigan's student-athletes. Nearly 40 have been a member of a professional team in either Major League Lacrosse or the National Lacrosse League.
Eight current or former Fighting Irish players have competed in major international competition and six of them have come away with gold medals. David Earl was the most recent to capture gold as he helped Canada win the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships. Current Fighting Irish sophomore Nick Koshansky competed with Russia at the tournament, while former Irish players Jim Morrison and Dan Scolaro coached Team Norway.
Six of Corrigan's Irish players, including Kavanagh, have earned spots on a United States national team. Five of them have won gold, including defenseman D.J. Driscoll at the `10 FIL World Championships. Kavanagh helped the U.S. capture the 2012 FIL Under-19 World Championship with a 10-8 victory over Canada, which featured fellow Irish junior Kyle Trolley. Kavanagh was named tournament MVP and the most outstanding attackman of the event.
It certainly did not take Corrigan long to place Notre Dame on the national lacrosse map. After leading the Irish to a 7-6 record in his first season in 1989, Corrigan's 1990 squad made history by gaining the school's first-ever USILA national ranking (17th in the final poll) and earning Notre Dame's first invitation to the NCAA Championship.
Notre Dame appeared in the NCAA tournament eight times in nine seasons from 1992-2001. The 1993 campaign saw the Irish make their third trip to the NCAAs and finish with a then program-record of 11 victories (11-3). Defenseman Mike Iorio became the first player in Irish history to be named an All-American, copping third-team honors. Corrigan wound up the season with an invitation to coach the North team in the North-South All-Star Game. His North squad took home a 28-16 victory.
In 1994, Corrigan guided the Irish to their third straight conference title - and the first for the newly-formed GWLL - Notre Dame posted a 10-2 overall mark and clinched an NCAA bid. He also was selected GWLL coach of the year for the second time in three seasons.
Corrigan helped Notre Dame reach new heights in 1995 by notching its first-ever NCAA tournament win in a come-from-behind 12-10 victory at Duke, which marked the first time a team from the West had won an NCAA game. Notre Dame's season culminated with an appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals, where the Irish lost to eventual national runner-up Maryland, 14-11.
Iorio and Randy Colley, the `95 GWLL player of the year, both earned All-America honors. Iorio was a second-team honoree, as he became Notre Dame's first three-time All-American, while Colley earned honorable-mention accolades for the second consecutive year and finished his career as the school's all-time leading scorer. His 273 points (173 G, 100 A) were 87 better than the previous Irish record. Notre Dame cracked the national top 10 for the first time ever in 1996, climbing to seventh in the USILA poll in mid-April. The 1997 campaign saw Notre Dame earn its first-ever victory over a top-five opponent as the Irish defeated #4 Hofstra, 10-9, at Moose Krause Stadium before earning the program's sixth straight NCAA Championship bid.
Corrigan and the Irish upset fifth-ranked Loyola, 15-13, in the first round of the 2000 NCAA tournament to advance to the quarterfinals for the second time where they fell to fourth-ranked Johns Hopkins, 15-11. Notre Dame finished the season 10-4 and undefeated in the GWLL (5-0).
In 2001, Notre Dame beat perennial powers Virginia (11-8) and Loyola (10-7) on the road as the Irish started the season 5-0. The only blemish on their regular-season schedule was an 11-10 overtime loss at Hofstra. After concluding the regular season with a 12-1 mark, Notre Dame was awarded the fifth seed in the 12-team championship field, marking the first NCAA seeding in Irish history.
A 12-7 first-round victory over Bucknell and a triumph against fourth-seeded Johns Hopkins (13-9) sent the Fighting Irish to Championship Weekend for the first time in program history. Notre Dame's journey ended with a 12-5 loss to Syracuse in the semifinals in Piscataway, N.J. The Irish concluded the campaign with a 14-2 record and ranked fourth nationally.
Five players earned USILA All-America honors in `01, with attackman Tom Glatzel becoming the school's first-ever first-team selection, as well as one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Trophy, given to the nation's top player. Mike Adams also became the program's third CoSIDA Academic All-American, when he garnered first-team honors in the `01 men's spring at-large program.
The accomplishments of the `01 team were even more impressive considering they came when the Irish program lacked any grant-in-aid scholarships. Shortly thereafter, it was announced by then athletics director Kevin White that all Notre Dame programs would begin a process of offering the maximum number of grants-in-aid allowed by the NCAA, making future trips to the final four by the Irish lacrosse team a greater possibility.
Notre Dame's current run of nine straight NCAA Championship appearances began in 2006 when the Irish appeared in the field for the first time since their trek to the semifinals in `01. The Fighting Irish fell to top-ranked, and eventual national champion, Virginia, 14-10 in the first round. The four-point margin was the closest outcome for the Cavaliers during their four-game run to the title and the second-closest margin over the course of their undefeated campaign.
The 2007 season saw the Fighting Irish notch an 11-4 record, including a perfect 5-0 league mark to win their 10th GWLL title. Notre Dame made its second straight trip to the NCAA Championship and fell at eventual national champion Johns Hopkins, 11-10, in overtime.
Corrigan was tapped as the GWLL coach of the year for the fourth time, while Kemp was named the `07 GWLL player of the year and Will Yeatman was selected as the league's newcomer of the year. Following a 12-6 win at Ohio State that clinched the `07 GWLL title for the Irish, Corrigan was named the US Lacrosse national coach of the week.
A significant accomplishment for Corrigan and the Notre Dame program occurred in 2008 when the Irish earned the No. 6 seed for the NCAA Championship and were able to host an NCAA tournament game for the first time. The Fighting Irish made the most of their home-field advantage by topping Colgate 8-7 in overtime to advance to the quarterfinals for the fourth time. After falling to Syracuse, 11-9, Notre Dame concluded the season with a 14-3 mark and ranked fifth in the final USILA poll. Attackman Ryan Hoff tallied 40 goals as a sophomore and 41 during his junior campaign to become the second player in program history to notch back-to-back 40-goal seasons. Hoff concluded his career in `09 second on Notre Dame's all-time goals scored list with 134 tallies.
The `09 campaign was a record-setting one for Corrigan and the Fighting Irish. Along with establishing program records for wins (15) and winning percentage (.938), Notre Dame ranked first among all NCAA Division I teams in goals-against average (6.19) and winning percentage. Goalie Scott Rodgers, the `09 GWLL player of the year, was first nationally in goals-against average (6.14) and save percentage (.663). After completing a 13-0 regular season, the Irish captured their second straight GWLL tournament title and received the No. 7 seed for the `09 NCAA Championship. The Irish hosted a postseason game for the second straight year, yet fell to Maryland, 7-3, in the first round.
The Fighting Irish knocked off three straight top-10 foes en route to the 2010 national title game. The journey began at sixth-ranked Princeton in the first round. After downing the Tigers, 8-5, Notre Dame defeated No. 3 Maryland, 7-5, to advance to the national semifinals at M&T Bank Stadium.
The sensational run continued as the Irish bested seventh-ranked Cornell, 12-7, to set up a clash with Duke in the final. Notre Dame opened the `10 season with an 11-7 win at #2 Duke, yet the Blue Devils prevailed in the second meeting by taking the back-and-forth contest 6-5 in overtime.
Rodgers was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championship, becoming just the fifth player to earn that honor from a team that did not win the title. Rodgers and the Notre Dame defense allowed just 23 goals (5.75 per game) in four tournament contests. For the season, the Irish ranked second nationally in team defense by surrendering just 7.53 goals per game.
Notre Dame's 9-0 start in `11 helped the team earn the No. 1 national ranking in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll and the USILA coaches' poll on April 18. The Irish would improve to 10-0 before suffering their first loss of the campaign. The Irish were seeded fourth for the `11 NCAA Championship and they knocked off Penn, 13-6, in the first round. The win over the Quakers propelled Corrigan and the Fighting Irish into the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship for the sixth time in program history. Unfortunately, it would be deja vu as Duke avenged a 12-7 season-opening loss to the Irish by capturing a 7-5 quarterfinal victory. The Fighting Irish finished the season with an 11-3 mark and ranked second nationally in team defense with a 6.57 goals-against average.
Corrigan not only has seen his teams excel on the field and in the classroom but also in the community. Another piece of hardware that the `08 Irish squad received was the Trophy Award at Notre Dame's seventh annual O.S.C.A.R.S. (Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievements and Recognition Showcase). Established by the Office of Student Welfare and Development at Notre Dame, The Trophy Award annually recognizes an athletic team that has demonstrated its commitment and dedication to the community through unparalleled community service to Notre Dame and South Bend. The Irish have been very active in the South Bend area, including mentorship programs at various local schools.
Corrigan has made the student-athlete experience special for the players that have competed for him at Notre Dame. The program has embarked on five foreign trips since `95. The treks have been to such countries as Ireland, England, Wales, Czech Republic, Japan and - most recently - Italy in the summer of 2014.
Another special experience for the student-athletes is the annual networking trip to New York City. In the fall, Corrigan takes team members from the junior and senior classes to the Big Apple to explore networking opportunities with Notre Dame alumni. The group has visited such places as the New York Stock Exchange, BlackRock and NASDAQ. Corrigan also has taken similar trips to San Francisco and Chicago. The San Francisco trip occurred in the fall of 2010 as the Irish were on the West Coast to play Johns Hopkins.
Corrigan likes to provide to his players the opportunity to compete in different areas of the United States. In recent seasons Notre Dame has played in California, Georgia, Texas, Florida and Minnesota.
Corrigan was acknowledged for his contributions to the Irish lacrosse program when Notre Dame's Monogram Club awarded him an honorary monogram in 2000.
An assistant at Virginia for two years, Corrigan became just the second head coach in Notre Dame's history on Aug. 23, 1988.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, Corrigan assisted the Cavaliers during both the 1987 and `88 seasons under head coach Jim "Ace" Adams.
During a three-year playing career at Virginia, Corrigan scored five goals and registered six assists. He played in 20 games as a midfielder. In his sophomore season in 1979, the Cavaliers reached the NCAA final before losing to Johns Hopkins in overtime.
This is Corrigan's second stint as a head coach. He directed Randolph-Macon College (Va.), a Division III program, for two seasons, compiling a 10-15 record in 1985 and 1986. He previously served as an assistant at Randolph-Macon during the 1984 campaign.
Corrigan also served as an assistant at Notre Dame during the 1983 season and at Western Albemarle (Va.) High School in 1982. He is the son of former Notre Dame athletic director Gene Corrigan, who retired in `97 as the commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The elder Corrigan played collegiate lacrosse at Duke and guided the Virginia and Washington & Lee lacrosse programs. He was inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame in February of 1994.
Kevin's brother Tim was a three-time monogram winner as a midfielder at Notre Dame from 1984-86. Two of Kevin's other brothers, David and Brian, also served as assistants under former Irish head lacrosse coach Rich O'Leary. Another brother, Eugene "Boo", was Notre Dame's associate athletics director for corporate relations and marketing from 2004-08. Boo now is the Director of Athletics at the United States Military Academy.
When not coaching, Corrigan still remains active by participating in various lacrosse clinics and camps. He and his wife, Lis, reside in South Bend with their three children - Will, Sidney and Natale. Will is a senior on the Fighting Irish men's lacrosse squad.