Cemented as one of the top coaches in college lacrosse, John Danowski has led the Duke men's lacrosse team to unprecedented success and himself to the top over the Division I men's lacrosse wins list. Danowski was introduced as Duke's eighth head men's lacrosse coach on July 21, 2006 and quickly led the Blue Devils to some of the most successful lacrosse seasons in school history, to three NCAA Championships in five seasons.
In Danowski's 11 years at the helm of the Blue Devils lacrosse program, he has compiled an impressive 180-55 record in leading Duke to seven ACC regular season titles and four ACC tournament titles, nine appearances in the NCAA semifinals, including eight straight from 2007-14, five in the NCAA title match and ultimately to the 2010, 2013 and 2014 national titles. The 2014 NCAA crown put Danowski, a winner of 399 career games, among a small group of nine coaches to win three national titles and among eight to capture consecutive crowns. Meanwhile, Duke's run of eight straight NCAA semifinals rank as the second most of any program since 2000 with Syracuse. Most recently, Danowski passed Dom Starsia as the winningest Division I lacrosse history, garnering his 376th win with a 13-6 victory over Jacksonville. He made history at the beginning of the 2019 season by becoming the first Division I head coach and only the third across all three divisions to reach 400 career wins when Duke beat Furman 17-9.
A winner of nearly 80 percent of his games at Duke, the individual awards Blue Devil players have garnered is equally impressive. In 11 seasons, Danowski mentored 69 All-America selections, 41 All-ACC choices, two Tewaaraton Trophy winners, a pair of USILA Attackman of the Year honorees, a USILA Defenseman of the Year, three USILA Midfielder of the Year award recipients and 22 USILA Scholar All-America picks.
While the success on the field is unsurpassed in Duke lacrosse history, the student-athletes excellence in the classroom also is unrivaled. The Blue Devils consistently lead the ACC in All-ACC Academic picks as well as players on the ACC Academic Honor Roll. In 2018, Duke had 36 players - over 75 percent of the team - achieve a 3.0 grade point average for the entire academic year, while Justin Guterding garnered ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year honors.
One of the great minds in collegiate lacrosse, Ron Caputo is in his 12th season as an assistant coach at Duke. Caputo currently works closely with the Duke defense after spending 10 seasons as the leader of the midfielders and faceoff specialists.
In his 11 seasons with the Blue Devils, Duke has posted a 163-52 record, captured three ACC titles, advanced to the NCAA Semifinals eight times and ultimately won the 2010, 2013 and 2014 national championships.
In the past two seasons with the Duke defense, the Blue Devils ranked 12th nationally both years in scoring defense, posting an 8.39 and an 8.65 goals against average in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The 8.39 goals against average was the lowest by a Duke team since 2009. In 2018, Caputo mentored a pair of All-American close defensemen in Cade Van Raaphorst and JT Giles-Harris as Duke advanced to the national title game for the first time since 2014. Overall, Caputo's defensive units have earned five All-America awards, including Van Raaphorst's first-team recognition in 2018.
One of the best players in Duke men's lacrosse history, Matt Danowski enters his seventh season with the program. In his six seasons with the offense, Danowski has mentored some of Duke's top scorers, including Jordan Wolf and NCAA all-time goals leader Justin Guterding.
In each of his years, the Blue Devils have featured one of the nation's top offenses and most recently in 2018, Duke ranked fourth nationally in scoring offense. Guterding, Duke's offensive leader, led the nation in goals per game and was third in points per game en route to becoming just the second player in NCAA Division I history to score 200 career goals. With Matt Danowski as Guterding's mentor, the Garden City, N.Y., native rewrote the Duke records book by becoming the fastest Duke player to 100, 200 and 300 points. His 351 career points is second all-time at Duke, only behind, Danowski of course.
As a player, Matt Danowski remains at the top of the Duke records book and near the top of the NCAA records book. He is still Duke's all-time leading scorer with 353 career points and tops in assists at 183. Matt is one of four Duke players to rank in the top 10 in career goals, assists and points. In NCAA history, Matt is third in career points and sixth in assists.
Former Duke great Ned Crotty joined the men's lacrosse staff in September of 2017 as a volunteer assistant coach. He works closely at Duke with Caputo and the Duke defense.
Crotty, the 2010 Tewaaraton Award winner and Duke graduate, has remained active in the sport in playing in Major League Lacrosse and as a member of the U.S. Men's National Team. He joined Matt Danowski and John Danowski this past summer as the United States won gold at the 2018 FIL World Championship in Israel.
One of the premier offensive talents in Duke history, Crotty has an eye for the game that allows him to coach any position. In his first season of coaching the defense, Duke ranked 12th nationally with an 8.65 goals against average and featured All-American defensemen Cade Van Raaphorst and JT Giles-Harris. Duke held 12 of its opponents to fewer than 10 goals last season en route to its NCAA runner-up finish.
The New Vernon, N.J., native remains sixth on the Duke career points list with 239 points. A three-time USILA All-America pick, and two time first-team All-American at attack, Crotty finished his career with 92 goals and 146 assists for 239 points. His 146 assists are second all-time behind Matt Danowski's 183.
Crotty departed Duke as one of the most decorated players in Blue Devil history and was a driving force in leading the Blue Devils to their first NCAA title in 2010. He was awarded the USILA's Lt. Col. J.I. Award in 2009 as the nation's top attackmen and followed that with the Tewaaraton in 2010.