The Dundalk Eagle
Dundalk grad Edell to be inducted into Lacrosse Coaches’ Hall of Fame this weekend
Famed former coach battling debilitating illness
Richard Edell, a 1962 graduate of Dundalk High School, will be inducted into the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coach’s Hall of Fame on Saturday as part of the NCAA Division I lacrosse championships. Ron Grabarek, a classmate and teammate of Edell’s at Dundalk High School, shared these thoughts on Edell.
The first part of Grabarek’s story, which explored Edell’s upbringing in Dundalk, his days as an Owl and his early career as a college lacrosse and soccer coach, was published in the May 19 edition of The Dundalk Eagle.
After coaching soccer for four years at the University of Baltimore, during which Richard “Dick” Edell took the team to the 1975 NCAA Division II national championship, he was really off to the big time in his coaching career.
In 1977 Dick took over as the United States Military Academy head lacrosse coach.
During his seven years at West Point he compiled a 66-24 record and led the Cadets to four NCAA tournament appearances. In 1984 was able to come back home to the University of Maryland, where he coached for the next 18 years.
Dick led the Terps to three Atlantic Coast Conference titles, 13 NCAA tournament appearances and reached the NCAA championship game three times.
When Dick retired in 2001 with 282 wins, he was ranked fifth alltime in number of wins as a head coach, and sixth all-time for winning percentage as a head coach.
At the time of his retirement, he had the second-most wins by an active head coach, behind Jack Emmer of Army with 289, and led all ACC coaches all-time with 171 wins.
He had the second-most NCAA Division I tournament appearances, was the seventh head coach to reach the 400-game benchmark, and the first ACC head coach to reach the 150-win benchmark.
In recognition of all of these accomplishments he has received many honors. The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association twice named him the National Coach of the Year: in 1978 with Army and 1995 with Maryland.
The ACC named him Coach of the Year three times: in 1989, 1992, and 1998. In 2004 he was inducted into the United States Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
He has also been inducted into the U.S. Lacrosse Potomac Chapter Hall of Fame, the U.S. Lacrosse Greater Baltimore Chapter Hall of Fame, the University of Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame, the University of Baltimore Athletic Hall of Fame and the Towson University Hall of Fame.
Dick and his wife, Delores, have four children. Two daughters are Maryland grads and their son graduated from Dartmouth College after a successful college lacrosse career.
Edell admits that he missed most of their accomplishments while he was coaching, but after he retired he was able to get tremendous enjoyment out of just being a dad. He was able to go and see his youngest daughter play lacrosse at the University of Delaware.
Richard Edell: the All American lacrosse player, the Hall of Fame coach and now in retirement he has become a fighter.
Dick retired due to a non-life threatening health issue, called Inclusion Body Myositis, which is an illness where the muscle cells slowly destroy each other, especially in the arms and legs. When he retired at 57 he said, “My mind and heart want to do this, but my body won’t.”
After talking to him recently, I was truly inspired by his positive attitude, his determination not to let this illness get him down, and his inner strength to enjoy each day with his family and six grandchildren.Dick reflected back on his years growing up in Dundalk, the life lessons he learned and how they have helped him throughout his entire life. Without this knowledge, a lesser person might have given up. But instead it has given him the motivation and inner strength to face his challenge each day. Just like those days on the athletic field.Dick had two wonderful parents, who were very good athletes. His father was a basketball player from Rome, New York, who was recruited to play at the University of Baltimore, while his mother Mom was a physical education teacher for 15 years and a very good athlete in her own right.So the athletic genes were there when he was born in 1944. His family lived in the apartments across the street from Dundalk Elementary School, where he would grow and keep growing. Dick was always taller than most of his friends and classmates, so he followed his father and made basketball his early game of choice. Dick grew to be six-foot-five in height, and this led to him being affectionally called “Moose” in high schoolAfter his younger sister Linda was born four years later, his family moved to their home on Northship, just off Liberty Parkway.I hope all of the past and present residents, his former 1962 classmates, and those who got to know Dick during his years in Dundalk enjoy reading this article about one of its own. If you go to Philadelphia on May 28to see the induction, or just watch it on TV, you now know the entire story how he became a Hall of Fame coach. Personally I am so happy, and proud, to be in his life for the past 56 years, and we both hope you are as proud of your hometown as we are.