Davis Yake '08, Assistant Athletic Director
Hampden-Sydney head lacrosse coach Ray Rostan has announced his plans to retire following the 2016 season, after serving the College for over three decades. Rostan will be entering his 40th season as a collegiate coach and his 32nd as the head coach of the Tigers, where he has had an extraordinary career.
Rostan currently stands in the top ten among coaches, active and non-active, in all-time collegiate victories in all NCAA divisions, with an overall mark of 329-191, including a 289-166 record at Hampden-Sydney.
"I have so many fond and nostalgic memories at Hampden-Sydney," noted Rostan. "We were attracted to Hampden-Sydney by the family atmosphere. My wife Karen has served the College for the past 25 years; our son and daughter, Jason and Jamie, grew up on campus, and Jason played for Hampden-Sydney and has been our assistant coach for the past 12 years."
Rostan is just the third lacrosse coach in the college's history, and since he took the helm in 1985, the Tigers have won four ODAC Championships (1989, 1995, 1998, 2001), made seven NCAA Tournament appearances (1989, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003), and had 158 All-ODAC, 65 All-America, and seven USILA Scholar All-America selections. Additionally, he has been named the ODAC Coach of the Year four times, most recently in 2001, and has twice earned the Francis "Babe" Kraus Memorial Award, after being voted the National Coach of the Year by his peers.
"I have taken great pride in our Tiger program and would like to thank the many great men and families that make up Tiger Lacrosse," he added.
"I personally want to thank President Chris Howard and Athletic Director Richard Epperson '79 for their tremendous support of our program and for me as a coach," Rostan added.
"Coach Rostan is one of the greatest coaches in college lacrosse history," said Howard. "More important than his impressive win-loss record, however, is his commitment to building men of character who have gone on to serve with distinction in so many professions. His selfless service, passion for the game, and complete dedication to his players, their families, and his coaches serve as the gold standard in collegiate athletics. The entire Hampden-Sydney College community thanks Coach Rostan for his exemplary service."
"Coach Rostan's name has been synonymous with Hampden-Sydney lacrosse for over three decades, and his impact on our institution, athletic department, and our student-athletes is immeasurable," noted Athletic Director Richard Epperson. "His numerous accomplishments rank him among the nation's lacrosse coaching giants, not just in Division III, but in all NCAA Divisions. We will recognize and pay tribute to Coach Rostan throughout the upcoming year. On behalf of all Tigers, past and present, I thank Coach for all that he has done for Hampden-Sydney College."
"I have so many to thank," said Rostan. "Most of all, I thank my wonderful wife Karen for her unconditional love and support. She has truly stood with me over many years, through both thick and thin.
"I also thank all of the Tiger coaches and athletes prior to 1984 for establishing the tradition of Tiger lacrosse. Thanks go to our first varsity head coaches, Hall of Famer Howdy Myers, followed by nationally recognized Bill Reid, who brought Hampden-Sydney its first NCAA Tournament selection in lacrosse in 1982. Coach Reid is a dear friend and was in large part responsible for my coming to Hampden-Sydney.
"Our program supporters are too numerous to name. Yet, I will forever be indebted to Face-Off Committee Chair and College Trustee John Gibson '82 as well as fellow Trustee Everett Hellmuth '75. Our program simply would not have achieved the heights that we have without the leadership and passion of these two great men.
"I have been fortunate to have worked with more than 40 assistant coaches in my career, and I would not trade the experience of those relationships. Men like Chris Bissinger '95, Jason Rostan ‘03, and Bobby Wynne, along with so many others will always hold a special place in my heart.
"I will continue to enjoy lifetime friendships with great coaches like Bill Tierney, Randy Garrett, Hank Janczyk, and Paul Wehrum. I will be forever indebted to my collegiate coaches at the State University at Cortland - men like Jack Emmer, Chuck Winters, and Stan Kowalski. I offer special thanks also to Coach Fred Acee, who gave me my first opportunity at collegiate coaching at Farmingdale College in 1975."
Rostan's storied career as a head coach began at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where he coached from 1979-81, and his team broke 14 school records in only his second season. He then moved to Ithaca from 1982-83, coaching both lacrosse and soccer; in 1982, he guided the Bombers to the NCAA Quarterfinals. He then came to Hampden-Sydney, where he has not only been the head lacrosse coach, but has also served as the head water polo coach and the soccer assistant coach. Rostan's first lacrosse recruiting class won the ODAC in 1989, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament that year.
In addition to his tenure at Hampden-Sydney, Rostan served as the Defensive Coordinator for the U.S. National Lacrosse team that won the 2002 World Championship in Perth, Australia.
He was a member of the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Committee representing Division I-II and III of NCAA Collegiate Lacrosse from 1998 through 2003. He also served as the Chair of the USILA Men's North-South game for ten years. Coach Rostan served Hampden-Sydney as the advisor to the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for ten years, from 2001 through 2011. He formerly served the USILA Committee for Coaching Ethics. In 2014, the Tigers were awarded the James "Ace" Adams Award for Sportsmanship for District 4 by the National Intercollegiate Lacrosse Officials Association.
The Copiague (Long Island), New York, native earned his B.S. in 1973 from Cortland State University and his M.S. from Ithaca College in 1977. Rostan was a member of the 1973 Cortland State National Championship team. He later played professionally in the National Lacrosse League for the 1974 National Lacrosse League Champion Rochester Griffins and for the Long Island Tomahawks in 1975.
"I am excited to enter the 2015-16 year," Rostan added. "We are returning many selfless young men with a young and enthusiastic offense, and a veteran defense. I believe that with great effort, we will continue to accomplish many of our highest aspirations.
"I extend my appreciation, love and best wishes to all within our Tiger lacrosse family," said Rostan.