US Lacrosse Honors Bill Tierney
New lacrosse field named after DU coach
There are very few people who have stadiums or fields named after them. There are far fewer who have been alive to witness this honor.
“Somebody told me it beats the heck out of the alternative — everybody talking about you, but you not being there to celebrate it,” says Bill Tierney, head coach of the highly successful DU men’s lacrosse team.
Earlier this fall, U.S. Lacrosse honored the legendary coach by naming the field at its brand new headquarters after him. “It was surreal, humbling, emotional. It brought back a lot of memories,” Tierney says when thinking back to the dedication ceremony in Sparks, Md.
It would be hard to find a college lacrosse coach with a more decorated career. Tierney won six national titles while head coach at Princeton. In 2015, he won his seventh national title at DU, becoming the first college lacrosse coach to win a championship west of the Eastern time zone. Tierney coached Team USA to a gold medal in the 1998 World Lacrosse Championships. He is also a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
If you are a coach who cares about his players and cares about what he’s doing, you want them to feel that ultimate reward and not a lot of people get to go through that. Coach Bill Tierney, DU Lacrosse
Tierney says the theme of his speech during the field dedication was similar to the one shared when he was inducted into the lacrosse Hall of Fame. “Remember what others had to give for you to achieve your success. First and foremost is your family. You move them all over the country, and when kids are young, they are suffering with dad not being home a lot. The ups and down for my wife of winning and losing and good seasons and bad. Then you think about all those guys who played for you, all the guys who coached with you, and it becomes pretty surreal.”
Tierney has spent four decades coaching college lacrosse, but last month he experienced something for the first time: Tierney’s current team played his former team. It was also the first collegiate lacrosse game to be played at Tierney Field. Even though he left Princeton in 2009, Tierney says there were plenty of emotions, not to mention some familiar faces on the other sideline. “Once the game started, it is your team against theirs, and that part was the easy part.” DU was victorious in the fall exhibition, with a final score of 18-8.
Most people would argue there’s little left for coach Tierney to accomplish, but that’s not how he views it. “No matter how many [championships] I’ve been blessed to experience, the group that you have now hasn’t been able to experience that. If you are a coach who cares about his players and cares about what he’s doing, you want them to feel that ultimate reward and not a lot of people get to go through that.”