Legendary lineup of coaches at U20 Lacrosse World Cup camp at Oshawa Civic Fields

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Published July 24, 2023 at 9:18 am

Action at the 2022 U21 World Lacrosse Championships gold medal game in Limerick, Ireland. Photo Ady Kerry

About 50 wide-eyed U15 lacrosse players will walk out onto Oshawa Civic Fields this morning and see Gary Gait – the long-time Syracuse Orange head coach, a 6x NLL MVP and arguably the greatest lacrosse player ever – watching them closely.

More than 100 U17 player players (105 were invited) will also be stepping onto the turf at the same time. All of them will be the cream of the crop in lacrosse circles in their age group and they will be gazing over besides Gait and see John Grant Jr. – a 2x NLL MVP and in almost everybody’s short list of all-time greats – gazing back.

Gary Gait is second in NLL career goals with 635, behind John Grant Jr.’s 658 and John Tavares – uncle of the current Toronto Maple Leaf captain – and his 815 goals.  Gait won five league MVPs in the row from 1995 and 1999.

And 50 selected U19s – likely all in the first year of the cohort to make them still eligible for the U20 World Cup, which will take place in 2025 in a still yet-to-determined location – will also be taking to the field under the watchful eyes of three other U20 World Cup 2025 coaches, each with glittering resumes in the sport on their own:

  • Mark Miyashita (Canisius College head coach and 2x Minto Cup champ)
  • Shawn Wilkins (offensive co-ordinator with Rochester Institute of Technology, where he is a member of the school’s Hall of Fame as a player in both lacrosse and hockey)
  • John Gallant (the defensive co-ordinator with Denver University, who had an illustrious career with the NLL’s Colorado Mammoth and won gold with Canada at the 2007 World Indoor Championships.)

If all that talent just in the U20 World Cup coaching staff wasn’t intimidating enough for these young athletes – many just kids – there’s another impressive handful of coaches helping out at the development camp:

  • Matt Brown, Denver
  • Taylor Wray, St. Joseph’s
  • Merrick Thomson, Albany
  • Kevin Crowley, San Diego Seals
  • Brodie Merrill, national team player and head coach of Team Canada Sixes

Plus another ten NCAA and NLL coaches and scouts who have confirmed they will be at camp:

  • Ian Moore, UMass-Lowell
  • Drew McMinn, Utah
  • Adrian Took-Orban, Robert Morris
  • John Svec, Brown
  • Danny Murphy, Vermont
  • Judd Hall, Lafayette
  • Bo Lori, Marquette
  • Peter Milliman, Johns Hopkins
  • Dan Carey, GM Rochester Nighhawks (NLL)
  • Tracey Kabuska, Panther City (NLL)

The USA has won all nine competitions, including the 2022 event in Limerick, Ireland where they beat Canada 12-10.

The tournament was a U19 competition until 2018 when it was reclassified as U20. The 2022 event was given a one-time age exemption to U21 due to postponements from the global pandemic.

The three-day camp opens Monday morning at the Oshawa Civic Fields, both at Terry Fox Field and the adjacent outdoor turf surfaces at the facility and runs until Wednesday afternoon.

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