PERRY, N.Y. -The 2008 men's lacrosse postseason honors continue to pour in for national champion Salisbury University as head coach Jim Berkman was named the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division III National Coach of the Year.
Berkman, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA men's lacrosse history, engineered one of the best lacrosse seasons in SU history. The top-ranked Sea Gulls graduated its entire defense in '07, which included five All-Americans, three national position players of the year and the national player of the year in Chase Caruso. Salisbury (22-0) reloaded in '08 and didn't skip a beat as the Gulls were ranked among the top 16 defenses in the country.
This is the first time in 17 seasons that Coach Berkman has been honored by the USILA as the National Coach of the Year (Francis 'Babe' Kraus award) and the first after one of his eight national championship seasons. He was last honored by the USILA in 1991. Berkman has been named Capital Athletic Conference Coach of the Year seven times, including the past four seasons.
Coach Berkman surpassed retired Army coach Jack Emmer on May 10, 2008 with his 327th career victory in 21 seasons, 20 of which has been at SU. Berkman guided the Sea Gulls to a second straight national title and the fifth in the past six seasons as the maroon and gold defeated SUNY Cortland 19-13 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Berkman's career record is now 330-35 (321-30 at SU). The Sea Gulls have won 45 straight games and are a stellar 124-2 in the past six seasons.
Kylor Berkman, Jim's son, earned the USILA Division III National and Midfielder of the Year awards this past season and was also named a first-team All-American.
Coach Berkman is one of the most recognized and respected collegiate lacrosse coaches in the country. Since 1995, when SU joined the CAC, the Sea Gulls have yet to lose a conference game, a streak of 100-0.
An All-American midfielder at St. Lawrence University in '82, Berkman came to Salisbury after serving as the assistant lacrosse coach and head basketball and junior varsity soccer coach for three seasons at his alma mater. The Watertown, N.Y., native, starred on the basketball team as well as the lacrosse squad at St. Lawrence, earning MVP honors in basketball as both a junior and senior. He also was selected to play in the prestigious North-South All-Star lacrosse game in 1982. Berkman was inducted into the St. Lawrence Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.
After graduating from St. Lawrence in 1982, Berkman spent two years at Salisbury University while he earned his master's degree. He served as the Gulls' assistant lacrosse coach during those two seasons as SU compiled a 23-7 record. Following one season at Potsdam State, where Berkman coached the lacrosse squad to a school-record nine wins, he returned to St. Lawrence from 1985-88. As head basketball coach, Berkman directed his '87-88 St. Lawrence team to the ICAC league championship.
Berkman currently resides in Salisbury, Md., with his wife Jennifer, who is the director of SU Student Health Services. Their son Kylor will be a senior on the men's lacrosse team next season and daughter Keli will play women's lacrosse at Mount St. Mary's as a freshman this year.