Danowski gets extension after title run
Often, job stability and coaching don’t match up.
John Danowski knows that part of the business.
On Friday, he experienced the other side when Duke athletics director Kevin White announced the Blue Devils men’s lacrosse coach had signed a contract extension through the 2018 season.
“I spent so many years of my career working on a one-year contact,” Danowski said in a phone interview. “Sometimes these things are surreal to me. I’m extremely honored to be able to continue to represent Duke University and the men’s lacrosse program.”
It’s easy to see why White made the move to reward Danowski. Duke won the national championship on May 27 with a 16-10 victory over Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament final at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field.
It’s the second championship Danowski has won at Duke, with 2010 being the other. In every season since Danowski took over the Blue Devils program for the 2007 season, Duke has made the sport’s final four.
“John’s unparalleled level of achievement, including two national championships in the past four seasons, places him among the elite coaches in college lacrosse, if not in all of college athletics,” White said in a statement. “This amazing record of on-field success, coupled with his players’ ongoing commitment to academics and community involvement expected of Duke student-athletes, is a clear testament to John’s leadership.
"Simply put, we are ecstatic to have John firmly in place as the leader of the Duke men’s lacrosse program for several years to come!”
The 59-year-old Danowski has coached Duke to a 111-31 (.782) record with six ACC regular-season championships and four ACC Tournament crowns in addition to the two NCAA championships. Duke’s 111 wins over the past seven seasons are more than any other Division I men’s program.
In his 31 seasons as a collegiate head coach at C.W. Post, Hofstra and Duke, Danowski’s record is 331-168 (.663) — the second-highest win total among active coaches.
Danowski, who will be 64 when the new contract runs out, said Friday that he can’t see himself coaching at another school.
“I couldn’t work at a better institution surrounded by phenomenal support staff,” Danowski said. “Administrators, athletic trainers, strength coaches, speed coaches, faculty, alumni — I can’t find any weak points.”
Danowski’s contract extension is the third Duke has announced for a head coach this school year. In November, football coach David Cutcliffe’s deal was extended through 2019. In April, women’s basketball coach Joanne P. McCallie received a new contract that also expires in 2019.