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Dave Cottle, Navy men’s lacrosse offensive coordinator, is resigning
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Dave Cottle, Navy men’s lacrosse offensive coordinator, is resigning

When Dave Cottle was hired as Navy men’s lacrosse offensive coordinator, he was thought to be a one-season stopgap.

Cottle said the same thing, telling The Capital in January, “I have agreed to give (Marine lacrosse) six months of my life.” However, Navy coach Joe Amplo never ruled out the possibility that Cottle’s tenure in Annapolis could extend beyond the 2024 campaign.

It turns out that Cottle was indeed one and done.

On Wednesday, Amplo confirmed to The Capital that Cottle will leave the program at the end of this month and that Navy is looking for its next offensive coordinator.

“I am very grateful that Coach Cottle has stepped in and done an excellent job this season,” Amplo said. “From a personal perspective, it was very rewarding to see one of the all-time greatest coaches in the history of our sport do it the old-fashioned way.”

Amplo ran into trouble when he lost offensive coordinator Michael Phipps to Maryland less than a month before preseason practice began. The fifth-year coach was reluctant to bring an assistant away from another program at such a late time and found a surprising solution to that dilemma when Cottle offered to fill the vacancy for this season.

It was an unexpected appointment since Cottle, 68, was retired and living in Boca Raton, Florida. He had been out of the college game for 14 years since resigning as Maryland’s coach after the 2010 season.

In addition, Cottle was recovering from back surgery that slowed him down somewhat physically. For most of this season, just walking was uncomfortable (and often painful), so standing on the practice field for two hours or more every day was a challenge.

However, Cottle was all in from the start, working religiously from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the season.

“I’ll tell you what, Dave handled the daily grind better than I thought, although he probably didn’t let on how much physical pain he was in,” Amplo said.