Tim Boyle, who coached Dowling College’s men’s lacrosse team to the NCAA Division II national championship in 2012, became the first coach at the recently shuttered Oakdale school to land a new job when he was named men’s lacrosse coach for Division II Wingate (N.C.) University.
Boyle, 49, a Wantagh native and Patchogue resident, coached at Dowling for 16 seasons, compiling a 148-73 record that included four NCAA Tournament appearances.
He also worked in the office of the registrar and in admissions in his 20 years at Dowling.
“I loved Dowling and my time there,” Boyle said. “It’s where I grew as a coach. I’m still upset at how it went down and I just feel so bad for the student-athletes and that’s really the struggle for me. It was a shock to us all.”
Boyle was voted United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association coach of the year in 2006 (reached national title game), 2010 (reached national semifinals) and 2012, when Dowling defeated Limestone, 11-10, in a game played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
”We had a philosophy all year of believe, commit and follow through,” Boyle told Newsday after the 2012 championship game that was the second in school history. The Golden Lions’ men’s soccer team won the Division II national championship in 2006.
Boyle said his focus since the announcement of the school closing has been on his incoming recruits and returning players.
“We had 14 incoming recruits and it’s been so stressful for everyone,” he said. “I wanted to get them situated and settled into a place to play. We have 24 returning players. We’re really concentrating on getting the returning kids in another school.”
As for his situation, Boyle was thankful for his next challenge at Wingate.
“I’m resilient and was fortunate enough to get an opportunity at a great place like Wingate,” he said. “From the moment my wife and I stepped on campus, we knew it was a special place. Everyone made us feel welcome and I’m looking forward to coaching there.”
“As we were conducting our head men’s lacrosse coach search, we were hoping to find someone with experience coaching a highly successful program,” Wingate vice president and director of athletics Steve Poston said in a statement on the university’s website. “Tim Boyle fits the bill. Tim’s teams have historically contended for national championship titles. He established a program built on discipline and integrity.”
Boyle takes over a team that went 10-6 overall and 7-1 in the South Atlantic Conference.
Rick Cole, currently the athletic director at Iona but previously Boyle’s AD at Dowling, said in a statement, “This is a great hire for Wingate University. Tim Boyle is a person who is committed to building a championship program. His teams are well known for their academic and athletic successes. His team will give back to the Wingate community and he will set a high standard for excellence both on and off the field.”
There are four Long Island players on the current Wingate team, a number that may rise considering Boyle’s Long Island connections. He will officially begin his job on July 1.
“My assistant coach, Joe Turner, is coming with me,” said Boyle, who earned his masters in secondary education from Dowling in 1999. “He played for me on our national championship team.”