January 20, 2016
Buddy Beardmore (left) receiving his plaque after being inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1980 by Lacrosse Foundation president Bill Kiegler. (Lacrosse Museum file photo)
Buddy Beardmore (left) receiving his plaque after being inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1980 by Lacrosse Foundation president Bill Kiegler. (Lacrosse Museum file photo)

Hall of Fame Coach Buddy Beardmore Passes Away

by Brian Logue | Twitter

National Lacrosse Hall of Fame coach Clayton A. “Buddy” Beardmore died Wednesday of complications related to Parkinson’s disease. He was 76.

Beardmore, who led Maryland to NCAA championships in 1973 and 1975, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980. He was the head coach at Maryland for 11 seasons (1970-80) compiling a record of 91-26 for a 77.8 winning percentage. He led the Terps to at least the NCAA semifinals nine times in his career and five times reached the championship game.

“He coached the game and taught in a manner that held you accountable,” said John Lamon, a two-time All-American at Maryland who graduated in 1979. “He coached you hard and loved you hard. He really cared. He didn’t care if you were on the first team or a guy riding the bench, he held everyone accountable. His motto was, ‘Be the Best,’ and that was truly a way of life.”

The “Be the Best” phrase remains a motto for the Maryland men’s lacrosse program to this day. The words are emblazoned throughout the Maryland locker room and on Maryland equipment as a reminder of the program’s fundamental and historic pillars.

“Coach Beardmore was a legend in the game of lacrosse and will go down as one of the all-time greatest coaches,” said current Maryland head coach John Tillman in a statement released by the school. “I have always admired the incredible impact and love that he shared with his players. My experiences with Coach Beardmore were always humbling and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn and grow from him as a coach and mentor. His love for lacrosse and the University of Maryland never wavered. Coach Beardmore will be greatly missed. He was truly ‘the best.’”

Beardmore’s 1973 team went undefeated (10-0), averaging 16 goals per game en route to the NCAA championship. He was honored by the USILA that season as the national coach of the year with the F. Morris Touchstone Award. His 1978 team, which reached the NCAA semifinals, set a school record averaging 18.7 goals per game.

“Coach Beardmore was the innovator of lacrosse in those days,” Lamon said. “He wanted to play up-tempo, run-and-gun and score as fast as you could.“

Beardmore’s 1975 team, led by national player of the year Frank Urso, was the last Maryland team to win an NCAA championship.

Beardmore was a three-time All-American as a player at Maryland. He earned honorable-mention honors in 1960 and was a first-team selection in 1961 and 1962. He set a Maryland record for career points by a midfielder with 108, a mark later broken by Urso.

Beardmore began his coaching career at the Severn (Md.) School, and then had brief stints as the head coach at Hobart and Virginia before moving on to Maryland. His son, Jim, later played goalie for the Terps and was a first team All-American in 1987.

Beardmore also achieved success on the global stage. He served as head coach of the 1974 U.S. team that won the Federation of International Lacrosse (previously ILF) World Championship in Melbourne, Australia.

Beardmore is survived by his wife Phyllis; three children and two spouses, James, Steve and wife Stephanie and Susan Morris and husband James; and eight grandchildren, Clayton, Hunter, Logan, Parker, Reegan, Kori, Lucy and Liza.

A memorial service for Beardmore is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church at 611 Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard in Severna Park. A reception will follow the service.

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