SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – One of the most impactful coaches in Syracuse University men’s lacrosse history, longtime assistant Kevin Donahue has announced his retirement after more than 30 years with the program to spend more time with his family.
“I am excited to spend more time with my family and grandchildren, as well as pursue other interests,” Donahue said. “This opportunity to be a volunteer coach allows for that and keeps me connected to the program.”
“There aren’t enough words to describe what Kevin Donahue means to the Syracuse lacrosse program,” said Head Coach John Desko. “To me personally, Kevin has been a tremendous friend for more than 40 years, it’s been an honor to play and coach alongside him and I’m thrilled that Kevin will continue to be part of our program. His dedication to our program is unmatched and future generations of Syracuse lacrosse have been forever impacted by his work.”
“Syracuse men’s lacrosse wouldn’t be what it is today without Kevin Donahue’s contributions as a player and coach,” said Director of Athletics John Wildhack. “We are grateful that he will remain part of the program as a volunteer coach and wish him the best as he spends more time with his family.”
A national search will be conducted to find the assistant coach candidate best qualified to help contribute to the most successful men’s lacrosse program ever.
As a player, Donahue was one of the building blocks of the program’s run to 11 NCAA Championships. He was the first player under legendary head coach Roy Simmons Jr. to earn first-team All-America honors. Donahue earned All-America accolades three times (1977-79), including first-team recognition as a senior. Since Donahue, Syracuse players have earned All-America First Team nods 71 times, including many who Donahue coached.
As a coach, Donahue was on staff for 10 titles. He joined the program as a volunteer assistant coach in 1988 under Simmons Jr. Donahue’s addition to the staff, coupled with one of the most talented rosters in the game’s history, led to a dominant three-year stretch that included a combined 42-1 record and three NCAA Championships.
The success continued in future decades. A longtime physics teacher at his alma mater West Genesee, Donahue later served on the staff of the 1993, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2009 Syracuse teams to win national titles, as well.
His sons, Collin ’12 and Dylan ’16, and daughter, Riley ’18, were all standout players for the Orange lacrosse programs.