SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SU ATHLETICS) – Legendary men’s lacrosse coach Roy Simmons Jr. ’59 will be recognized with Syracuse Athletics’ highest honor when he is inducted into the Orange’s Ring of Honor in the Carrier Dome. The ceremony is part of a Celebration of Lacrosse scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 20. In addition, Katie Rowan ’09and Gary Gait ’90will have their jerseys retired during the event.
Simmons Jr., one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game, built Syracuse into the greatest program in collegiate lacrosse. Following his playing career during which he earned honorable mention All-America honors, Simmons Jr. joined his father’s coaching staff. In 1971 Simmons Jr. was named head coach at his alma mater when his father retired, a position he held until 1998.
He guided the Orange to six national championships and mentored more than 100 All-Americans and five National Players of the Year and 15 National Position Players of the Year. Simmons Jr. became the first coach in NCAA Division I history to win five National Championships and ranks second all-time with six national titles. He is a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and was awarded the 2009 Spirit of Tewaaraton Award.
Simmons Jr. joins five others in the Ring of Honor, including Syracuse head basketball coach Jim Boeheim ’66, G ’73, football legend Jim Brown ’57, Ernie Davis ’62, Floyd Little ’67 and Dwayne ‘Pearl’ Washington ’98. The “Ring of Honor’ is the highest honor bestowed upon individuals named as one of Syracuse University’s most outstanding student-athletes or coaches to compete and/or coach their associated collegiate sport. This honor enshrines an honoree within the Syracuse University Stadium by permanently displaying the honoree’s name on the inner most facade of the stadium.
Rowan is one of the most decorated players in program history and helped the Orange become a perennial national contender. Not only is she Syracuse’s all-time leading scorer, but Rowan ranks among the top scorers in the history of the sport. She is ninth on the NCAA Division I career record list for points (396) and 11th in assists (164).
In 2008 Rowan led the nation in scoring and led Syracuse to the NCAA Championship Weekend for the first time. She finished the year with 142 points on 73 goals and 69 assists. Her point and assist totals still stand as the Syracuse single-season records. She was named a finalist for both the Tewaaraton Award and Honda Award.
Rowan also found success on the international stage, helping Team USA win the 2009 and 2013 FIL World Cup. She earned All-World honors in 2013 and still holds the Team USA single-game record for goals (8) and career records for points (69) and assists (35).
Her work in the classroom also didn’t go unnoticed as earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 2008 and 2009 and was a four-time BIG EAST All-Academic selection.
Widely considered the greatest lacrosse player to play the game, Gait has won every major collegiate, professional and international championship in the sport during his career. He and his twin brother, Paul, revolutionized the sport, bringing a sense of style and excitement to the game that had never been seen before.
With Gait running the midfield, Syracuse registered an overall record of 51-5 (.911) from 1987-90, won three-straight NCAA titles (1988-90), and posted two undefeated seasons (1988, 1990). He holds the Orange record for career goals with 192 and single-season goals with 70.
Gait was a four-time All-American for Syracuse and earned the 1988 and 1990 Lt. Raymond J. Enners Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding player. He went on to an outstanding professional career, winning three NLL and three MLL titles. Gait was inducted as a charter member of the NLL Hall of Fame in 2006.
On the international stage, Gait led Team Canada to one Heritage Cup and one International Lacrosse Federation (ILF) World Championship. He earned ILF All-World Team honors. This past summer, Gait was named the fifth Roy D. Simmons Jr. head men’s lacrosse coach at Syracuse after a successful tenure leading the Orange women’s program.