Every major title in the world of lacrosse has been won by Gary Gait. As a player and coach, the native of Victoria, British Columbia, is a legendary figure in the sport at the age of 46. And you can expect more championships in the future.
A four-time Syracuse University All-American — first-teamer in 1988-89-90 — Gait led the Roy Simmons Jr.-coached Orangemen to three consecutive NCAA titles. He was named all-tournament four times and Most Outstanding Player in ’90. He was the prime offensive cog in a well-oiled machine, registering 192 goals and 253 points as SU won 42 of 43 games his last three years, when the Orange ruled the roost in college lacrosse. Overall, he played — with twin brother Paul— on SU teams that went 51-5.
Gary won the Enners Award (Player of the Year) as a sophomore and senior. And the Brothers Gait, both midfielders, would go on to be selected to the NCAA Silver Anniversary team in ’97. As Simmie put it, “I had Michael Jordan. And if Michael Jordan had a twin brother, I had him, too.”
If nothing else, Gary will forever be remembered for twice scoring by dunking over the goal from behind in the ’88 Final Four. The NCAA would ban the move called ‘Air Gait.’
Gary’s awards are too numerous to mention, but suffice it to say he was as dominant in the pros as he was collegiately: 18 years in the NLL (indoors)…6 MVPs … five MLL (outdoor) seasons, one co-MVP. And he starred on teams that won NLL and MLL titles each three times, the Mann Cup (Canadian seniors) three times, the Heritage Cup (box lacrosse) and a World Championship — Canada’s first in 28 years—as Gary scored four goals to beat the USA in the ’06 finals.
He’s won as a coach, a World Championship (indoor) NLL Championship and twice as player-coach in the MLL. And, while an assistant women’s coach at Maryland, the Terps won the NCAAs seven years running. Back at his alma mater, he’s turned SU women’s lacrosse into a national power. His teams have been to three Final Fours the last four years, including the 2012 national championship game. Next step? Win it all!
Gary and wife Nicole live in Fayetteville. Taylor plays for her father at SU and Braedon is at CBA.
And now, chalk up one more honor, Gary, as a member of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013.