Gary Gait

Gary Gait

Infobox Lacrosse Player

position = Attack/Midfield
shoots = Left/Right
height_ft = 6
height_in = 2
weight_lb = 210
league = Former WLA
team = Victoria Shamrocks
former_nll_teams = Detroit Turbos Philadelphia Wings Baltimore Thunder Pittsburgh CrosseFire Washington Power Colorado Mammoth
former_mll_teams = Long Island Lizards Baltimore Bayhawks
nationality = Canada
birth_date = birth date and age|1967|04|5
birth_place = Victoria, British Columbia, CA
career_start = 1991
career_end = 2005
uslaxhof = 278
nllhof = 2006

Gary Charles Gait (b. April 5, 1967 in Victoria, British Columbia) is a retired professional lacrosse player, and former head coach of the Colorado Mammoth. He is a member of the United States Lacrosse National Hall of Fame and the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame, and is widely regarded as the best lacrosse player of all time, just above his twin brother Paul. [cite web|url=|title=Lacrosse legend retires as 'Jordan of sport'||date=April 17, 2005|accessdate=2007-03-28] [cite web|url=|title=Interview with John Grant, Jr.|work=Lacrosse - Inside the Game|date=February 26, 2007|accessdate=2007-03-28] [cite web|url=|title=Gary Gait HOF Biography|work=US Lacrosse|accessdate=2007-03-28] [cite web|url=|title=Lacrosse Legends||accessdate=2007-03-28] A fairytale finish to his playing career earned him every possible major lacrosse title; he scored four goals in the last quarter of Canada's historic 15-10 victory over the United States in the final of the 2006 World Lacrosse Championship, his last ever game.

In 2007, Gait returned to his alma mater Syracuse University to become the head coach of the Orange women's lacrosse team.cite web|url=|title=Gait Introduced as Syracuse Women's Lacrosse Head Coach|work=Syracuse University website|accessdate=2008-02-27] cite web|url=|title=Gait Named Syracuse Women's Lacrosse Coach|date=August 27, 2007|accessdate=2008-02-27]

College career

Gary Gait and his twin brother Paul Gait both attended Syracuse University and played in the NCAA, setting many records during their time there. Gait was a three-time first team All-American and once Honorable Mention All-American at Syracuse. He graduated as the Orangemen’s all-time goal leader with 192. He led the team to three Division I Championships. He was NCAA Player of the Year in both 1988 and 1990 and was Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament in 1990. Gait was also widely known for his acrobatic "Air Gait", where he would jump over the crease from behind the goal, scoring while in mid-air, and land on the opposite side of the crease.

NLL career

Gait started playing in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (later the National Lacrosse League) in 1991 and won the Rookie of the Year Award. In April 2005 he announced his retirement; he played his last game on April 22, 2005.

In the opening game of the 2006 NLL season on December 30, 2005, at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, the Colorado Mammoth raised Gait's jersey number (22) to the rafters as the first retired jersey in NLL history.

In 2006, both Gait and his brother were among the 5 charter members to be voted into the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame.

On September 1, 2007, Gait came out of retirement to play in the NLL Outdoor showcase in Colorado.


In June 2005, Gait was named head coach of his former team, the Colorado Mammoth. [cite web|url=|title=Gary Gait Named Mammoth Head Coach||date=June 21, 2005|accessdate=2007-05-28] After a 10-6 season in which the Mammoth finished second in the Western Division, Gait led them to an overtime 18-17 win over Calgary and a 13-12 win over Arizona before shutting down the East Division champion Buffalo Bandits 16-9 in the Championship game. [cite web|url=|title=Colorado Takes Home Champions Cup With 16-9 Win||date=May 13, 2006|accessdate=2007-05-28] Gait became the first rookie head coach to win a championship since Tony Resch did it with the Philadelphia Wings in 1994, a team on which Gait played. [cite web|url=|title=News & Notes: Championship Game||date=May 19, 2006|accessdate=2007-05-28]

Gait announced in August 2007 that he was stepping down after two seasons as head coach of the Mammoth to pursue other interests. [cite web|url=|title=Gait Steps Down as Mammoth Coach||date=August 22, 2007|accessdate=2007-08-22]

Syracuse University Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross has announced that former Orange All-American and lacrosse Hall of Famer Gary Gait has been named the second coach in the history of the women's lacrosse program.

MLL career

Gait has also played in Major League Lacrosse since its inception in 2001. He was a member of the Long Island Lizards. After the first season, Gait was traded to the Baltimore Bayhawks where he served as a player-coach for the next four years. In 2005, Gait won the Steinfeld Cup as a player-coach. He scored six goals in the Championship Game and was named MVP of that game as well as the season.

WLA career

Gait, along with his brother, had great seasons with the Victoria Shamrocks of the Western Lacrosse Association. Gait won the Mike Kelly Memorial Trophy as most valuable player of the Mann Cup as a Shamrock in 1997, and shared the most valuable player award with Paul Gait in 1999.cite web|url=|title=Historical Stats of the Mann Cup||date=|accessdate=2007-08-15]

International lacrosse career

1990 - Member of Team Canada, finalists in the World Lacrosse Championship
1994 - Member of Team Canada, 3rd place at the World Lacrosse Championship
1998 - Member of Team Canada, finalists in the World Lacrosse Championship
2002 - Member of Team Canada, finalists in the Heritage Cup
2004 - Member of Team Canada, winners of the Heritage Cup
2006 - Member of Team Canada, winners of the World Lacrosse Championship

Records and awards

Gait set many NLL scoring records during his career. He still holds the records for most goals in a single season (61 in 2003).

Gait was named NLL MVP six times, including five consecutive seasons. Other than Gary Gait, only John Tavares (3 times) has ever won the award more than once.

He was also given the NLL Sportsmanship Award twice, in 2004 (tie with Peter Lough) and 2005.

NLL Weekly and Monthly Awards:
* Player of the Week (1994-2001) 7 times
* Overall Player of the Week (2002-) 6 times
* Offensive Player of the Week (2002-) 3 times
* Player of the Month 6 times

Gait was named the MLL MVP his final season in 2005, sharing it with Mark Millon. That season he also led the league in goals and points with 42 goals and 21 assists for 63 points.

MLL Weekly Awards:
* Offensive Player of the Week 2 times

Personal life

Gary Gait lives in Cazenovia, New York with his wife, Nicole, and their children Taylor and Braeden. His daughter, Taylor also plays lacrosse at her local high school named Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, NY.



ee also

*Career achievements of Gary Gait
* Syracuse Orange men's lacrosse

NAME= Gait, Gary
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Retired lacrosse player
DATE OF BIRTH= April 5, 1967
PLACE OF BIRTH= Victoria, British Columbia

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