Baltimore Sun

Carl Tamulevich

Legendary Midshipman athlete and administra­tor in athletic department ‘was the fabric of Navy lacrosse for generation­s’

- By Bill Wagner Reporter Jacques Kelly contribute­d to reporting.

Carl Tamulevich, a Naval Academy sports official considered a legendary lacrosse figure, died of cancer complicati­ons July 17 at Anne Arundel Medical Center. He was 79 and lived in Annapolis.

“Carl became a father figure and mentor for me from the day I first met him as a plebe at the Naval Academy,” said Rear Adm. John Wade.

Born in Nashua, New Hampshire, he was the son of Bolic Tamulevich, who worked for the Nashua Corporatio­n, and his wife Gladys.

Mr. Tamulevich was a graduate of Nashua High School, class president and captain of the baseball, football and basketball teams. He was an all-state selection in those sports and helped Nashua capture five state championsh­ips.

“Carl was a local hero in Nashua, New Hampshire,” said his wife, Lori Herrick Tamulevich, who met her future husband while in high school. Their first date took place after the 1966 Army-Navy game in Philadelph­ia.

“You cannot imagine the number of Midshipmen who have reached out to me,” she said. “Carl did so much good.”

After attending the Bainbridge Naval

Training Center in Port Deposit, he went on to earn a degree at the Naval Academy.

Mr. Tamulevich was a two-sport standout at the Naval Academy, a bruising fullback in football and tenacious defenseman in lacrosse.

He recently retired after serving 26 years in the Navy and another 30 with the Naval Academy Athletic Associatio­n.

“We are heartbroke­n to lose our cherished friend and distinguis­hed alum,” Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said in a statement. “Carl touched the lives of so many in such meaningful and influentia­l ways throughout his life as a mentor and role model to all.

“Our fond memories of Carl — his laugh, humor, personalit­y, profession­alism and kindness — will always be ingrained in the lives of those who were fortunate enough to know him.”

Mr. Tamulevich spent two seasons with the Navy varsity football team and enjoyed many great moments as one of two primary fullbacks.

Although Mr. Tamulevich had planned to play baseball for coach Joe Duff at Navy, he wound up becoming a star in a different spring sport. Hall of Fame coach Willis Bilderback put forth a full-court press to recruit him to play lacrosse.

“Coach Bilderback wrote me three letters during plebe year saying he hoped I would come out for lacrosse,” Mr. Tamulevich recalled in March after his retirement. “I figured if the man wanted me to play that badly, I should give it a try.”

Mr. Tamulevich developed into one of the greatest defensemen in college lacrosse history, a two-time first-team All-American always assigned to cover the opponent’s top attackman.

He earned the Schmeisser Award as the top defenseman in Division I as a senior and was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1989.

Navy compiled a 27-6-1 record and captured two United States Intercolle­giate Lacrosse Associatio­n national championsh­ips during Mr. Tamulevich’s three seasons on varsity. He shut out Maryland star Jack Heim when he was the nation’s leading scorer and had to cover another future Hall of Famer in Jack Cowan of Johns Hopkins.

After his Naval Academy graduation he went to flight school at Air Station Pensacola and then underwent multi-engine training at Air Station Corpus Christi.

Mr. Tamulevich spent 20 years flying the Lockheed P-3 Orion, an anti-submarine and maritime surveillan­ce aircraft. He was stationed twice in Bermuda, an important P-3 base assigned to track Russian nuclear ballistic submarines operating off the East Coast. He was also stationed at air bases in Iceland (Keflavik), Spain (Rota), Italy (Sicily) and Greece (Souda Bay).

Former athletic director James “Bo” Coppedge was responsibl­e for bringing Mr. Tamulevich back to the academy to serve as executive officer of the physical education department.

After two years in that role Mr. Tamulevich transition­ed to deputy director of athletics under Mr. Coppedge. He later became an assistant athletic director in charge of scheduling and team support.

Mr. Tamulevich was promoted to senior associate athletic director and remained in that role after retiring from the Navy in 1992 with the rank of commander.

Mr. Tamulevich served as the sports administra­tor for men’s lacrosse throughout most of his tenure with the Naval Academy Athletic Associatio­n, working with four coaches over three decades.

Richie Meade, who served as Navy lacrosse coach from 1995 to 2011, said Mr. Tamulevich was a mentor and confidant.

“Carl was like my big brother, and it meant a lot to have him in my corner,” Mr. Meade said. “He was a very important part of my experience at the Naval Academy. Through good times and bad times Carl was always there to provide support.”

Current coach Joe Amplo quickly developed a close relationsh­ip with Mr. Tamulevich and credits the Navy legend for making his transition to the academy smoother than it could have been.

“Carl was the fabric of Navy lacrosse for generation­s,” Mr. Amplo said. “He’s been the heartbeat, the example, the icon.”

Mr. Tamulevich also served as the sports administra­tor for women’s soccer.

“All those early leadership lessons I learned from Carl shaped me into the husband, father and Naval officer I am today,” said Rear Adm. Wade.

Mr. Tamulevich was a member of Calvary Methodist Church.

In addition to his wife of 54 years, a Nordstrom manager, survivors include a son, Jeff Tamulevich of Fairfax, Virginia; and seven grandchild­ren. His son C. T. Tamulevich died in 2019.

Funeral services are still to be determined and will be announced at a later date.

 ?? ?? Carl Tamulevich was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1989.
Carl Tamulevich was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1989.

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