North Carolina Tar Heels men's lacrosse

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North Carolina Tar Heels men's lacrosse
University of North Carolina Tarheels Interlocking NC logo.svg
Founded 1949 (varsity), 1937 (club)
University University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
Location Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Coach Joe Breschi (since 2009)
Stadium Fetzer Field and Kenan Memorial Stadium
(capacity: 6,000 and 60,000)
Nickname Tar Heels
Colors Carolina blue and White
NCAA Tournament Champions
1981, 1982, 1986, 1991
NCAA Tournament Runner-Up
NCAA Tournament Final Fours
(12) - 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals
(23) - 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015
NCAA Tournament Appearances
(30) - 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Conference Tournament Champions
1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2013
Conference Regular Season Champions
1981, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996

The North Carolina Tar Heels men's lacrosse team represents the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men's lacrosse. North Carolina currently competes as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and plays its home games at Fetzer Field and Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina has not won the Div. I college lacrosse championship in 21 years while other ACC teams have won the championship in two of the last three years.


A club team was established at the school in 1937, and elevated to varsity status in 1949. Carolina rose to national prominence in the late 1970s under Hall of Fame coach and former Johns Hopkins Blue Jay Willie Scroggs.[1] The program's first 1st-team All-American in Division I was defenseman Ralph "Rip" Davy in 1979.[2] Between 1980 and 1996, the UNC lacrosse team qualified for the NCAA tournament 14 of the 16 years. During that span, Carolina also won 11 ACC titles. In 1981, the Tar Heels began a 26-game winning streak, and won the national championship in 1981 and 1982. The UNC lacrosse program won its third national title in 1991, going undefeated and also winning the ACC tournament.[3] Since then, UNC won four of five ACC championship games between 1992 and 1996.



The first lacrosse team was formed in 1937 at the club level. At the time, they used old equipment from the football team and competed in the Dixie Lacrosse League against Duke, Virginia, Washington & Lee, Loyola, and the Washington Lacrosse Club. In 1949, the university conferred varsity status on the team, and in 1950, North Carolina became a member of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA). The following season, goalie Nick Sowell became the Tar Heels' first All-American when he was named to the USILA Honorable Mention team.[4]

Carolina players in action against Duke in the 2009 ACC final.

In 1954, after compiling a combined 14-43-1 record in its first six seasons, the varsity team was disbanded by the administration in order to focus on other sports.


Lacrosse returned as a varsity sport in 1964. In 1974, Paul Doty took over as head coach. That year, the school started awarding scholarships for the sport and was promoted from the small college level (now Division II and Division III) to Division I.[5]


In 1991, first-year head coach Dave Klarmann replaced Willie Scroggs, and led the Tar Heels through an undefeated regular season. Carolina extended its winning streak throughout the postseason, first winning the ACC tournament, and then defeating Loyola, Syracuse, and Towson in succession to post a perfect 16–0 mark and capture the NCAA national championship. Klarmann's teams repeated as ACC tournament champions in 1992 before advancing to the NCAA Championship final, where they fell to third-seeded Syracuse, 13–12. In 1993 and 1994, Carolina again captured the ACC title, but suffered early exits in the NCAA tournament. In the late 1990s, the Tar Heels struggled, alternately, to qualify for or advance in the NCAA tournament.[5]

At the end of head coach's Dave Klarmann's time at UNC (10 years, one national championship, five ACC tournament championships) there were a series of the off the field incidences between 1995 and 1999. One player died of a gunshot wound, another from asphyxiation, another was injured from a stabbing in a night club and a fourth had a serious illness.[6]


John Haus replaced Klarmann as head coach for the 2001 season. John Haus was UNC's head coach from 2001 to 2008. In his fourth year, Carolina advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals before losing to Johns Hopkins, 15–9. They returned to the NCAA tournament and quarterfinals in 2007, where they were defeated by second-seeded Duke, 19–11. In 2008, Carolina was knocked out of the first round by Navy.[5]


In 2009, alumnus Joe Breschi, a former first-team All-American defenseman in 1990and USA national team member in 1990 and 1994, became head coach at his alma mater. Breschi and Ryan Wade are the last UNC lacrosse players that made the USA national team roster in 1994. In Breschi's first season in 2009, North Carolina surprised some observers when the team returned to the NCAA quarterfinals, before losing to Duke, 12–11.


In 2010, The Baltimore Sun commented that "it's no longer a question whether Breschi can rebuild North Carolina, but when the Tar Heels will arrive."[7] In his second season, Carolina again advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to Duke, 17–9. That season, North Carolina swept the ACC postseason awards, with Breschi named ACC Coach of the Year, junior attackman Billy Bitter named ACC Player of the Year, and Marcus Holman named ACC Freshman of the Year.[8]


UNC finished the 2012 season with an 11-6 record, the sixth season in a row UNC had a winning record. UNC lost to Duke in the ACC Tournament final game. UNC received a #8 seed in the 16-team 2012 NCAA tournament. UNC lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Denver 14-16. Denver lost in the next round to eventual champion Loyola (Md.).[9] It was the second year in a row UNC lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament.


UNC attained a #1 ranking[10] in the 2013 season and won the ACC tournament. Attackman Marcus Holman was the second player in UNC lacrosse history to be named a finalist for the annual Tewaaraton award given to the best college lacrosse player. Attackman Jed Prossner was UNC's first finalist in 2004.[11]



Year Overall Conference Coach ACC Tournament NCAA Tournament
1980 8-4 2-2 Willie Scroggs Semifinals
1981 12-0 4-0 Willie Scroggs National Champion
1982 12-0 4-0 Willie Scroggs National Champion
1983 9-4 1-2 Willie Scroggs Final Four
1984 9-4 2-1 Willie Scroggs Final Four
1985 10-3 2-1 Willie Scroggs Final Four
1986 11-3 1-2 Willie Scroggs National Champion
1987 9-4 1-2 Willie Scroggs Second Round
1988 9-3 3-0 Willie Scroggs Second Round
1989 13-5 2-1 Willie Scroggs Champion Final Four
1990 12-4 2-1 Willie Scroggs Champion Final Four
1991 16-0 3-0 Dave Klarmann Champion National Champion
1992 12-3 3-0 Dave Klarmann Champion Final Four
1993 14-2 2-1 Dave Klarmann Champion National Finalist
1994 10-5 2-1 Dave Klarmann Champion Second Round
1995 9-7 1-2 Dave Klarmann - First Round
1996 12-5 2-1 Dave Klarmann Champion Second Round
1997 6-7 0-3 Dave Klarmann -
1998 7-8 0-3 Dave Klarmann - First Round
1999 6-9 1-2 Dave Klarmann -
2000 8-6 0-3 Dave Klarmann -
2001 6-6 1-2 John Haus -
2002 8-5 1-2 John Haus -
2003 7-6 2-1 John Haus -
2004 10-5 2-1 John Haus - Second Round
2005 5-8 0-3 John Haus -
2006 4-10 0-3 John Haus -
2007 10-6 0-3 John Haus - Second Round
2008 8-6 0-3 John Haus -
2009 12-6 0-3 Joe Breschi - Second Round
2010 13-3 2-3 Joe Breschi - Second Round
2011 10-6 1-2 Joe Breschi - First Round
2012 11-6 1-2 Joe Breschi - First Round
2013 12-3 4-1 Joe Breschi Champion Second Round
2014 10-5 2-3 Joe Breschi - First Round

*ACC started a championship format in 1989[12]

First Team All-Americans[edit]

Year Player(s)[13][14]
1979 Ralph "Rip" Davy
1980 Kevin Griswold
1981 Michael Burnett, Douglas Hall, Thomas Sears
1982 Michael Burnett, John Haus, Jeffrey Homire, Peter Voelkel, Thomas Sears*
1984 Thomas Haus, Joseph Seivold
1985 Mac Ford, Joseph Seivold
1986 Thomas Haus*
1987 Thomas Haus
1988 Boyd Harden
1990 Joe Breschi
1991 Dennis Goldstein*, Graham Harden, Andy Piazza
1992 Jim Buczek, Alex Martin
1993 Alex Martin, Greg Paradine, Ryan Wade
1994 Ryan Wade
1996 Jude Collins, Jason Wade
2004 Jed Prossner
2005 Jed Prossner
2009 Billy Bitter
2010 Billy Bitter, Ryan Flanagan
2012 RG Keenan, FO
2013 Marcus Holman, A

*Player of the Year

Former players in Major League Lacrosse (MLL)[edit]

Major League Lacrosse (MLL) currently has eight teams. The 2013 season starts at the end of April and ends in August. There are four former UNC players who played for MLL teams in the 2012 season. Billy Bitter (attack, UNC '11) and Ryan Flanagan (defenseman, UNC '11) played for the Charlotte Hounds in the 2012 season. Flanagan is currently on the Charlotte Hounds roster for the 2013 season.[15] Ben Hunt (midfielder, UNC '09) and Tim Kaiser (defenseman, UNC '08) play for the Chesapeake Bayhawks.[16]

Only seniors with expiring eligibility are eligible to be drafted by MLL teams in the annual January drafts.[17] After the NCAA season is complete on Memorial Day, the MLL will allow all undrafted seniors who completeld their eligibility to register for a player pool, giving MLL teams an opportunity to select the undrafted players for one week. The Ohio Machine selected current senior Marcus Hollman in the second round of the last MLL draft.[18]


  1. ^ National Lacrosse Hall of Fame,, 2009.
  2. ^ "Men's All-Americans Since 1922". 
  3. ^ "DI Men's Lacrosse". 
  4. ^ Laxpower Men's All-Americans Since 1922,, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c 2009 North Carolina Men's Lacrosse Media Guide (PDF), University of North Carolina, p. 34-38, 2009.
  6. ^ "Kevin Lawn Unc Lacrosse - Face-off with adversity - tribunedigital-baltimoresun". tribunedigital-baltimoresun. 
  7. ^ Mike Preston, Under Breschi, North Carolina no longer a surprise, The Baltimore Sun, Mar 26, 2010.
  8. ^ SPORTS Briefs, Chapel Hill News, May 12, 2010.
  9. ^ "2015 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament DI". 
  10. ^ "LaxPower Forum Poll". 
  11. ^'s_Lacrosse/2013GameNotes.pdf
  12. ^ "UNC Claims First League Crown Since 1996". 
  13. ^ "College All-Americans". 
  14. ^ "United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association / All Americans". 
  15. ^ "Roster". 
  16. ^ "Roster". 
  17. ^ "MLL Draft FAQ". 
  18. ^ "2013 Collegiate Draft Results".