The Wingate Memorial Trophy was the award given to the national champion in men's college lacrosse prior to the inception of an NCAA tournament format in 1971. In 1936, the family of W. Wilson Wingate presented a memorial trophy named for him to be presented to the USILA champion. Wingate was a sportswriter for Baltimore newspapers who had played lacrosse in college and often covered the sport. He's credited with nicknaming lacrosse "the fastest game on two feet."
From 1936-1972 the Wingate Memorial Trophy was presented to the champions each year. The NCAA held its first national tournament in 1971. The Wingate Memorial Trophy was presented to the first two NCAA champions in 1971 and 1972 and was then retired.