Good for Coach Tierney - Great Move for DU
During a heady campus championship celebration at Hamilton Gym, Bill Tierney stated to the crowd, "I'd like to come back - if they'll have me." The gym erupted with cheers. Both DU and Tierney got their way Monday when it was announced his contract was extended to 2022.
The last four years burnished Coach Tierney's lacrosse legend and the next seven years will cement DU's lacrosse pedigree. What was once a novel, quirky program, far removed from the lacrosse epicenter, was seen by the lax blue-bloods and east coast media as a unique 'one-off'. DU players spent more times on airplanes than their dorms during the spring. Their story was a perfect filler for the New York Times sports section. Once Tierney was done at DU, the natural order of things would return with Duke, Virginia, North Carolina, Syracuse, or Johns Hopkins taking their rightful position again. This had happened before in 2012 when Loyola-Maryland crashed the party but order was immediately restored with back-to-back Duke championships.
Before his move to Denver, Tierney's legacy was secure. Now it is, literally, off the map.
But, this extension is about DU. If Coach Tierney stays full-term he will have devoted thirteen years to DU. Assuming the Pioneers continue to play at a top level and draw top teams, an entire generation of young lacrosse players across the country will have only known Denver as a national lacrosse power. In terms of DU culture, nine freshman classes on campus would have started and cycled through their entire four years with Coach Tierney at the helm. At that point, DU should be able to stand on their own and sustain their role as one of college lacrosse's elite programs.
A good move for Tierney but a great move by DU's athletic administration and University leadership to take the long view.
Bill Tierney - Denver Post