NC State Wolfpack men's lacrosse
|NC State Wolfpack|
|University||NC State University|
|Conference||Atlantic Coast Conference|
|Location||Raleigh, North Carolina|
|Colors||Red and White
|NCAA Tournament Appearances|
The North Carolina State men's lacrosse team represented NC State University in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men's lacrosse from 1973-1982. The team was disbanded after the 1982 season.
The first Wolfpack team, initially granted club status, was introduced in 1972 by Colonel Robert E. Conroy, a military science instructor. Conroy played college lacrosse at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1954 to 1956. The next year NC State approved varsity status, and began playing against a mix of club and varsity programs, ending with a record of 3-9. That year Colonel Conroy was transferred leaving a vacancy in the coaching position. His successor, Dr. Charles E. Patch, had never coached or seen a full game but did graduate from SUNY Cortland, one of the nation's premier lacrosse programs.
With a new coach and only 4 of the 19 team members having lacrosse experience, the team went 1-13. After records of 7-7 and 8-8 in 1975 and 1976 respectively, the program began to gain some measure of success. In 1977 the team finally vaulted into the limelight of Division I college lacrosse with the recruitment of three time first-team All American Stan Cockerton, who still ranks second in all-time NCAA career goals. That year the Wolfpack finished 10-4 with a No. 14 national ranking. Success continued the next year as NC State defeated perennial powerhouses North Carolina and Virginia to end up with a 9-4 record and a No. 9 national ranking. After that year, Dr. Patch resigned to continue the growth of the program, and ex-Virginia assistant coach Larry Gross was hired to take over. The Wolfpack would follow with an 8-4 record, a No. 6 national ranking, and its first and only NCAA tournament appearance.
The tournament culminated in an early first round exit to eventual National Champion Johns Hopkins. In the next three years the team would go 6-5 in 1980, 7-4 and a No. 11 national rank in 1981, and finally 5-6 in the 1982 season. The team was disbanded following 1982 due to monetary issues, and remains as a club team today playing in the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference of the MCLA. All-time lacrosse player Tim Nelson was on the Wolfpack squad that final season, transferring to Syracuse where he led the team to a National Title in 1983.
Due to the expansion of the game throughout the country, there has been much more attention placed into the eventual reestablishment of the program. However, similar to the reasons for disbandment, money still remains an issue. As stated by current NC State Athletic Director Debbie Yow, “I have a personal appreciation for the sport of lacrosse. That said, I can not foresee a time when we would voluntarily add any sport. The current 23 varsity sports need and deserve our attention and financial support.”
- Jackson, James H (Dec 24, 1982). "Lacrosse association accepts 9 new teams, North Carolina State has dropped lacrosse". The Baltimore Sun.
- Friedlander, Brett (May 27, 2011). "N.C. State lacrosse gone, but not forgotten to former coach". Wilmington Star News.
- Tanton, Bill (November 2, 2002). "The ACC's 5th Player". Lacrosse Magazine.