Great Western Lacrosse League

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Great Western Lacrosse League

The Great Western Lacrosse League, also known as the GWLL, was an NCAA Division I men's college lacrosse athletic conference that existed from 1994 to 2009. The conference was created when the NCAA instituted automatic qualifiers to the NCAA championship tournament; in so doing, it eliminated the "western region" bid.

The GWLL ceased operations in 2010, as a result of Notre Dame's 2008 decision to leave the conference for the newly established Big East lacrosse conference in 2010; the remaining GWLL schools, including the Air Force Academy, University of Denver, The Ohio State University, Quinnipiac University, and Bellarmine University, joined the ECAC, as a five-team GWLL would no longer have been eligible to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA championship tournament under the rule requiring conferences to have at least six members to qualify for the bid.


The GWLL was established in 1994. The original members were Air Force, Butler, Denver, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. Just prior to the 1997 season, Michigan State left the conference after the school dropped varsity lacrosse, leaving the league with five clubs. The NCAA requires a conference to have six members in order to be eligible for an automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament. As a result, Fairfield was added as a sixth member. Fairfield later left the conference to join the ECAC and was replaced by Quinnipiac. Later, Butler left the GWLL when its athletic department dropped several sports programs including men's lacrosse in January 2007.[1] Bellarmine was added to the conference in 2007 after the school began competing in Division I men's lacrosse in 2005.

In 2008, the GWLL held its first championship tournament. Previously, the GWLL champion was determined by regular-season results. Notre Dame won the championship with a 9-2 victory over Ohio State, earning an automatic bid to the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship.[2] In addition to Notre Dame's automatic bid, Ohio State and Denver also received "at-large" bids to the NCAA tournament, giving the GWLL three teams in the tournament.[3] The following year, in 2009, Notre Dame again won the GWLL championship, defeating Ohio State 16-7 in the conference's last tournament.[4]

Former members[edit]

Institution Nickname Location Head Coach Field Current Lacrosse League
United States Air Force Academy Falcons Colorado Springs, CO Eric Seremet Cadet Lacrosse Stadium Southern Conference
Bellarmine University Knights Louisville, KY Kevin Burns Owsley B. Frazier Stadium Southern Conference
Butler University Bulldogs Indianapolis, IN Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA)
University of Denver Pioneers Denver, CO Bill Tierney Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium Big East Conference
Fairfield University Stags Fairfield, CT Andrew Copelan Lessing Field Colonial Athletic Association
Michigan State University Spartans East Lansing, MI Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA)
University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish South Bend, IN Kevin Corrigan Arlotta Stadium Atlantic Coast Conference
The Ohio State University Buckeyes Columbus, OH Nick Myers Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Big Ten Conference
Quinnipiac University Bobcats Hamden, CT Eric Fekete QU Lacrosse Field Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference


Regular Season Champions[edit]

Year Champion(s) Conference Overall
2009 Notre Dame 5–0 12–0
2008 Denver
Notre Dame
Ohio State
2007 Notre Dame 5–0 11–3
2006 Denver 5–0 12–5
2005 Denver
2004 Ohio State 5–0 12–4
2003 Denver
Notre Dame
Ohio State
2002 Fairfield
Notre Dame
2001 Notre Dame 5–0 14–2
2000 Notre Dame 5–0 10–4
1999 Butler
Notre Dame
1998 Ohio State
1997 Notre Dame
1996 Notre Dame
1995 Notre Dame
1994 Notre Dame

Playoff Champions[edit]

Year Champion Title Game Opponent Score
2009 Notre Dame Ohio State 16-7
2008 Notre Dame Ohio State 9-2

Annual Awards[edit]

Player of the Year

Year Player Team
2008 Kevin Buchanan Ohio State University[5]
2009 Scott Rodgers University of Notre Dame[6]

Newcomer of the Year

Year Player Team
2008 Jamie Lincoln University of Denver[5]
2009 Dayton Gilbreath Air Force Academy[6]

Coach of the Year

Year Player Team
2008 Eric Fekete Quinnipiac University[5]
2009 Kevin Corrigan University of Notre Dame[6]


  1. ^ "Butler University Announces Changes to Athletic Program". January 26, 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
  2. ^ "Notre Dame plays outstanding defense in 9-2 GWLL finals win over Ohio State". May 4, 2008. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved May 5, 2008.
  3. ^ "D-I Men's Lacrosse Selections Announced". May 4, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-05.[dead link]
  4. ^ "Notre Dame Captures GWLL Title With 16-7 Triumph Of Ohio State". May 3, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
  5. ^ a b c "2008 GWLL All-League Selections and Annual Awards" (.pdf). May 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
  6. ^ a b c "2009 GWLL All-League Selections and Annual Awards" (.pdf). April 30, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-01.

External links[edit]