LOUISVILLE, Ky.–Bellarmine University is mourning the death of lacrosse coach Jack McGetrick, who died Saturday morning after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
The 60-year-old McGetrick helped found the Bellarmine lacrosse program in 2004 and has been its only head coach since the Knights started competing at the NCAA Division I level in 2005. At Bellarmine, he led the Knights to a 45-41 record, ending with a thrilling 14-13 overtime victory at Ohio State on May 1, 2010.
“Jack McGetrick will be sorely missed,” said Bellarmine President Joseph J. McGowan. “He was not only loved and revered by his Bellarmine players and family, but across the entire lacrosse community. The courage with which he battled not only cancer but any obstacle he faced should be an inspiration to us all.”
Bellarmine, which last spring dedicated the Jack McGetrick Plaza and Locker Room at the school’s stadium, is currently planning an on campus memorial service and details will be announced Monday.
McGetrick was known as a fierce competitor throughout his career, and continued to compete even after being diagnosed with cancer nearly two years ago. McGetrick never missed a game or a practice despite enduring harsh chemotherapy. During an interview with Lacrosse Magazine last season, McGetrick said, “I can’t say that every day is good, but I haven’t missed a practice or a game. Sometimes I have to really push myself.”
Before coming to Bellarmine, he spent 11 seasons as coach of the University of Hartford, where he posted an overall record of 87-74 ( the most wins and best winning percentage of any coach in Hartford’s history), and was recognized as the national coach of the year in 1997.
In his final season at Hartford, McGetrick led the Hawks to a 9-8 record and a share of the America East regular season title. Hartford made its first ever appearance in the conference championship game that season, and McGetrick picked up the league’s Coach of the Year Award for the third time in his career.
McGetrick’s career collegiate coaching record is 132-115, which ranks among the top 50 of all time.
Before taking over the Hartford program, McGetrick was an assistant coach at the State University of New York-Cortland, where he was an All-American player, and was the head club coach at the University of Connecticut. He also coached several high school teams in Connecticut and New York.
McGetrick was named to the 1972 All-America First Team after leading Cortland to the NCAA Division I semifinals. He was drafted by the Montreal Quebecois of the Professional Box Lacrosse League in 1976. He also captained the soccer team at Cortland, earning All-America honors during both his junior and senior seasons.
A highly motivated athlete, McGetrick found ways to compete after his playing days were over. In 1987, he ran the Boston Marathon, with a sub-three hour finish time. That same year he won the 35-40 year old age division of the Cape Cod Ironman competition.
McGetrick is survived by his wife, Lysa, and four children: Trista, Devon, Eamon, and Connor.
Plans for funeral services have not yet been announced.