Notre Dame is preparing to face Cornell in the national semifinals at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Kevin Corrigan is set to begin his 25th season on the Fighting Irish sideline in 2013. 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 230-109 (.678) record during his impressive Notre Dame tenure.
Inheriting a program that had never earned a berth in the NCAA Championship, Corrigan has made the Irish a staple in the postseason. His tenure has been highlighted by three trips to Championship Weekend, including two appearances in the last three seasons. Notre Dame made the program's first-ever appearance in the national title game in 2010 and the Irish were national semifinalists in 2001 and 2012. Notre Dame has finished as NCAA quarterfinalists four times under Corrigan (1995, 2000, 2008, 2011).
Notre Dame has garnered 17 invitations to the NCAA Championship since 1990, including a current run of seven straight trips, which is a program-best streak. The Fighting Irish have received a national seed and a first-round home game four times in the past five years.
Corrigan's Irish squads have won 16 conference titles, including the 2012 BIG EAST regular-season championship, and have finished in the top 20 of the national rankings in 19 of the last 20 campaigns. Notre Dame has been adept at winning big games under Corrigan, registering 77 victories over nationally-ranked opponents, including 23 vs. top-10 foes.
At least one Irish player has garnered All-America accolades in each of the last 20 years, with 32 individuals earning a total of 56 All-America honors. 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.
In the first three seasons of BIG EAST Conference play, Notre Dame has garnered 17 all-league honors. David Earl became the first Irish player to capture a major postseason award from the conference as he was selected the 2011 BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year. 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.
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 five 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 fourth nationally in wins (63) and they are fifth in winning percentage (.788).
In 2008, Notre Dame played host to an NCAA tournament game for the first time in program history. 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 the NCAA title game for the first time in school history in `10 and followed that up by achieving the No. 1 national ranking during the `11 regular season.
Notre Dame checked off another program-first in 2012 by winning the BIG EAST regular-season title for the first time. The Irish posted a perfect 6-0 league mark and went 13-3 overall. The Fighting Irish boasted the nation's top defense in `12 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 2012 (.892).
Kemp earned All-America accolades for the second straight season, while Randall joined him on the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) first team. Midfielder Jim Marlatt and defenseman Matt Miller received honorable mention All-America citations. Those four student-athletes were among the six from Notre Dame that copped all-BIG EAST accolades for the season.
Kemp's first team All-America 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. That seeding matched a program best that the Irish also earned the previous season. The '12 tournament run began with a 13-7 home victory over Yale and then 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.
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. A total of 14 Notre Dame student-athletes have been named Scholar All-Americans by the USILA during Corrigan's tenure.
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.
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 players. Thirty-four have been a member of a professional team in either Major League Lacrosse or the National Lacrosse League.
Six of his Irish players, including current freshman Matt Kavanagh, have earned spots on United States national teams. Five of those players have come away with gold medals, including defenseman D.J. Driscoll at the `10 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship in Manchester, England. Kavanagh helped the U.S. capture the 2012 FIL Under-19 World Championship with a 10-8 victory over Canada, which featured fellow Irish freshman 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, 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.
In 1992, Notre Dame went 10-5 and made its second appearance in the NCAAs, winning the Great Lakes Conference championship and the West Region bid for the second time in three seasons.
The 1993 campaign saw the Irish make their third trip to the NCAA tournament 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.
His `94 team also boasted two All-America honorees in GWLL player of the year Lorio and attackman Randy Colley, marking the first time in the program's history that multiple Irish players were named in the same year. Corrigan helped Notre Dame reach new heights in '95, 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 tournament quarterfinals, where the Irish lost to eventual national runner-up Maryland, 14-11. The Irish finished the `95 campaign with a 9-5 record and the Irish won their fourth straight league championship along the way.
Lorio and Colley, the '95 GWLL player of the year, both earned All-America honors again. Lorio 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.
For the first time in school history, three Notre Dame players earned All-America honors in the same season in '96, as Todd Rassas (D) was a third-team selection and Jimmy Keenan (M) and Alex Cade (G) were tabbed honorable mention. Notre Dame also cracked the national top 10 for the first time ever, climbing to seventh in the USILA poll in mid-April.
Notre Dame concluded the 1997 season ranked ninth, which was the program's highest final ranking at the time. That 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 en route to a 9-3 overall record.
In 1998, Rassas was named the GWLL player of the year and became the school's second three-time All-American when he earned third-team honors. Keenan was an honorable-mention selection that same season for the third consecutive year.
A year later, attackman Chris Dusseau finished his career as Notre Dame's second all-time leading goal scorer (113), while being named honorable mention All-America.
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 in program history where they fell to fourth-ranked Johns Hopkins, 15-11. Notre Dame finished the season 10-4 and undefeated in the GWLL.
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, which was the highest final ranking for the Irish at that time. The 14 victories established a program record.
A then program-record 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. Goalie Kirk Howell copped second team All-America accolades while midfielder Steve Bishko was a third-team selection. In addition, attackman David Ulrich, the GWLL player of the year, and defenseman Mike Adams were named to the honorable mention list.
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 went 5-8 in 2002, but bounced back with a 9-5 mark in 2003 and won a share of a fifth consecutive GWLL title, but just missed an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Attackman Pat Walsh became the first player in school history to earn All-America honors as a freshman as he was an honorable mention pick in '03.
The Fighting Irish posted a 7-5 mark in 2004 and then went 7-4 in 2005. Walsh copped All-America honors for the third straight season in `05, as he was an honorable mention selection along with Driscoll, who also was named the GWLL defensive player of the year. Freshman goalie Joey Kemp led the nation with a 0.652 save percentage.
In 2006, the Fighting Irish returned to the NCAA tournament for the first time since their trek to the semifinals in `01. The 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. Notre Dame finished with a 10-5 overall record and the Irish were second in the GWLL with a 3-2 league mark.
Driscoll was named to the USILA All-America second team and Kemp was an honorable mention pick. The duo also was among the five Irish players named to the all-GWLL first team. That marked the fourth time that Notre Dame had placed at least five student-athletes on the all-GWLL first team. The Fighting Irish put a school-record seven on the list in `01 and `09.
The 2007 season saw the Fighting Irish notch an 11-4 record, including a perfect 5-0 mark in the league to win their 10th GWLL title and their first outright championship since `01. Notre Dame made its second straight trip to the NCAA Championship, yet history repeated itself as the Irish fell to eventual national champion Johns Hopkins, 11-10, in an overtime thriller.
Accolades were abundant for the '07 Irish as they boasted five All-America honorees in Kemp, Will Yeatman (A), Brian Hubschmann (A/M), Sean Dougherty (D) and Michael Podgajny (M). A total of eight Notre Dame student-athletes earned all-GWLL recognition. The Fighting Irish swept all of the major GWLL postseason awards for the `07 season. Corrigan was tabbed the GWLL coach of the year for the fourth time, while Kemp was named the GWLL player of the year and Yeatman was selected as the 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 ever. The Fighting Irish made the most of their home-field advantage by topping Colgate 8-7 in overtime. Syracuse, the eventual national champion, upended the Irish, 11-9, in the quarterfinals in Ithaca, N.Y. Notre Dame went 14-3 overall and finished the season ranked fifth in the final USILA poll.
The Fighting Irish captured their second straight GWLL regular-season title in `08 as they were among a three-way tie atop the league standings with a 4-1 mark. Notre Dame garnered the top seed for the inaugural GWLL postseason tournament and the Irish took home the hardware with victories over Quinnipiac and Ohio State in Birmingham, Mich.
Four Irish players - Kemp, Dougherty, Podgajny and Ryan Hoff (A) - were tabbed as All-Americans in `08. Kemp became the first goalie in program history to be named a first team All-American and he received the Kelly Award for Outstanding Goalie in Division I from the USILA. Those four Fighting Irish players were among six that received all-GWLL honors that season.
The Irish ranked fifth nationally in `08 in both goals scored per game (12.09) and goals allowed per game (7.04). Hoff became just the second player in program history to notch back-to-back 40-goal seasons. He tallied 40 as a sophomore and followed it with 41 during his junior campaign. 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 was first nationally in goals-against average (6.14) and save percentage (.663).
In addition to being named the `09 GWLL player of the year, Rodgers was one of five Irish players to garner All-America honors. Joining him on the USILA third team were Hoff and Regis McDermott (D), Sam Barnes (D) and Grant Krebs (M) were honorable mention picks. Those five student-athletes were among seven to receive first-team all-league accolades.
After completing a 13-0 regular season in `09, the Irish defeated Quinnipiac and Ohio State to capture their second straight GWLL tournament title. That was the 15th conference title for Corrigan during his Notre Dame tenure. The Irish received the No. 7 seed for the `09 NCAA Championship and hosted a postseason game for the second straight season, yet fell to Maryland, 7-3, in the first round.
The Irish began play in the BIG EAST Conference in '10. After posting a 7-6 regular-season record (2-4 BIG EAST), Notre Dame made the most of its NCAA tournament at-large berth.
The Fighting Irish knocked off three straight top-10 foes en route to the 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 in Baltimore, Md.
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 then #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.
Rodgers and Krebs both earned their second All-America citation, while Zach Brenneman (M), Earl and Kevin Ridgway (D) were first-time honorees.
In 2011, the Fighting Irish defense finished second nationally for the second consecutive season by allowing just 6.57 goals per game. Notre Dame is the only school in NCAA Division I to finish in the top-five nationally in scoring defense in each of the last six seasons.
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.
For the fourth time in program history, Notre Dame garnered a national seed for the NCAA Championship. The Irish were seeded fourth, which signified the highest seed in school history, and they played host to Penn in the first round. The Fighting Irish topped the Quakers, 13-6. The seven-goal margin of victory was the largest ever for the Irish in an NCAA tournament contest, while the 13 goals are tied for the most scored by Notre Dame in an NCAA game.
The win over Penn propelled Corrigan and the Fighting Irish into the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship for the sixth time in program history. Unfortunately for Notre Dame, it would be déjà vu as Duke avenged a 12-7 season-opening loss to the Irish by capturing a 7-5 quarterfinal victory. The Irish finished the `11 season with an 11-3 mark.
Earl and Ridgway both were first team All-Americans in `11, while Brenneman, Barnes, Kemp and Andrew Irving (LSM) rounded out the program-record total of honorees. Earl, the midfielder of the year, headlined a group of six all-BIG EAST performers for the Fighting Irish.
Corrigan not only has seen his teams excel on the field 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 four foreign trips since `95. The treks have been to such countries as Ireland, England, Wales, Czech Republic and - most recently - Japan in the summer of 2010.
Another special experience for the student-athletes are the networking trips 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.
Part of the student-athlete experience that Corrigan likes to provide his players is 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 and is a member of the South Bend Regional Sports Commission. He and his wife, Lis, reside in South Bend with their three children - Will, Sidney and Natale. Will is a sophomore on the Fighting Irish men's lacrosse squad.