Avon, Conn. -
Former Villanova men’s lacrosse head coach Avery Blake Sr., will be inducted into the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) Hall of Fame this weekend. He will be inducted with six other former head coaches on Friday, December 8th in Baltimore, Maryland.
Blake Sr. served as the head coach of the Wildcats from 1970-72. During his three years he helped the 1971 then varsity club team reach a national ranking of 9 which they earned after they defeated nationally ranked UMBC in April of 1971.
Steve McLaughlin played three years for Coach Blake at midfield and the impact his former head coach had on him still lasts today.
“At 67 I still think of Coach Blake almost daily for what he taught me when I played Lacrosse at Villanova. Concentrate and focus were his message every day on the practice field and in games. He knew that the mental part of the game was as important if not more so than any physical ability. To be your best you had to pay attention and not be distracted by the myriad other things in life that could cause you to be less than yours.”
Blake Sr. played lacrosse at Swarthmore College from 1925-28 and was later named the head coach at his alma mater and held that position for 29 years (1931-59). During that time the Garnet’s were 180-107-2 (.626) and won state titles in 1940, 1947, and a shared title in 1951. Swarthmore also won the Penn-Del Lacrosse League title in 1950, 1952, 1953, 1957 and 1959.
Following this time at Swarthmore, Blake Sr. spent the next nine years as the head coach at the University of Pennsylvania where he boasted a 66-46-1 record. There he helped the Quakers win five Penn-Del championships.
2017 IMLCA Hall of Fame Inductees
Dave Cottle (Loyola University of Maryland and University of Maryland)
Avery Blake, Sr. (Swarthmore College, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University)
Tom Hayes (Drexel University, Rutgers University)
Sid Jamieson (Bucknell University)
Jack Kaley (New York Institute of Technology)
Dick Szlasa (United States Naval Academy, Washington and Lee, Towson University)
Morris Touchstone (United States Military Academy, Yale University)