Division I assistant coach-of-the-year, 33-year Division I defensive/offensive coordinator, 24-year coach at University of Maryland, winningest assistant coach in NCAA history, top assistant on three NCAA championship finalist teams, nine final four teams, five ACC champs, and 21 NCAA tournament teams, Johns Hopkins graduate, national championship midfielder, U.S. Army officer, active volunteer at area camps and clinics.
One of the finest assistant coaches in the history of the game, Dave Slafkosky may best be described as the coach behind the coach. He has served three head coaches at two schools as they accumulated two national coach of the year and four ACC coach of the year awards. He spent 25 years on the sidelines with head coach and best friend Dick Edell. Ask Coach Edell and he will tell you that it was Dave Slafkosky that allowed him to be the coach he was. If he deserved the moniker Big Man, it was because the head coach was standing on the shoulders of his capable assistant.
Dave lives out the virtues he seeks to instill in his players: self-discipline, thorough preparation, loyalty, modesty, and personal caring. He brings a self-sacrificing work ethic to his job and has provided faithful support to both Dick Edell and Dave Cottle, two of the most successful coaches in the game.
In 32 seasons of collegiate coaching, the last 23 at Maryland, Dave has been an integral part of 304 lifetime wins at the collegiate level. With a nine-year stint at the U.S. Military Academy prior to Maryland, Dave is the all-time winningest assistant coach in men’s lacrosse annals. Only three active Division I coaches have been part of more victories.
Under Dave’s guidance, Maryland has become synonymous with intimidating defense, intense physical play being its familiar trademark. Nine defensive aces have earned first team All-America status under his watch at Maryland: Beardmore, Jackson, Ralph, Burlace, Dougherty, McGinnis, Howley, Zink, and Passavia. He has tutored three stoppers to national goalie of the year awards: Slabowski (Army), Beardmore and Dougherty; and three players to national defenseman of the year laurels: Henry (Army), Howley, and Zink. In a combined 27 years as defensive coordinator for the Black Knights and the Terps, Dave coached 31 defenders who earned All-America recognition. During his five years as offensive coordinator in College Park, he guided another 10 players to All-America honors.
Dave and his wife Michelle reside in Catonsville, MD. Daughter Sarah, a graduate of Salisbury University, is a teacher in Baltimore; son Kevin attends Maryland and plays lacrosse for his father; son Alex is a football and lacrosse player at Mt. St. Joseph High School in Baltimore. The family continues to honor the memory of Danny, their eldest son and brother who passed away unexpectedly in December of 2000.