Berkman to be inducted into National Lacrosse Hall of Fame
BALTIMORE - With 10 national championships and 428 wins to his name, Head Coach Jim Berkman of the Salisbury University men's lacrosse team has been considered by many to be a Hall of Fame-caliber coach; that accolade will become official on Oct. 26, as Berkman will be included in a class of eight that will be inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
After a career as a three-year starting attackman and 1982 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Division III All-American at St. Lawrence University, where he is a member of the St. Lawrence University Hall of Fame, Berkman began his lacrosse head-coaching career in 1988 at State University of New York at Potsdam, where he posted a 9-5 record, and he took over the Salisbury men's lacrosse program a year later in 1989. Since joining the Sea Gulls, Berkman has guided the team to 25 straight winning seasons and NCAA tournament appearances.
During the 2012 season, the Sea Gulls defeated the University of Mary Washington on April 4, and the victory put Berkman in a class of his own, as it was the 400th win of his career. He became the first NCAA men's lacrosse coach in any division to eclipse the 400-win mark, and he currently holds a 428-48 career record for a .899 winning percentage.
In the same season, Berkman led SU to its 10th national championship, making him the second Division III coach with 10 national titles. His first title came in the 1994 season, before repeating in 1995, going undefeated in both years. The Sea Gulls have repeated as national champions three separate times under Berkman, while winning three in a row from 2003-05, as well. Seven of his championships have capped undefeated seasons, including two 23-win campaigns in 2007 and 2012.
In total, Berkman has led the Sea Gulls to 14 national championship games and 18 semifinal appearances.
Berkman and his players have not gone unnoticed for their accomplishments on the field, as he has been named the USILA National Coach of the Year three times (1991, 2008, 2012), has coached nine national players of the year, 40 national position players of the year and 178 All-Americans through 2013.
In 2012, Berkman was also named the Howdy Myers Man of the Year.
Since joining the Capital Athletic Conference in 1995, he has led Salisbury to 17 CAC championships and a 111-3 record in the conference. He has also won the conference's coach of the year award eight times (1996, 2002, 2003, 2005-08, 2010). The Berkman-led Sea Gulls owned a 105-game conference winning streak from March 4, 1995 to April 4, 2009.
Since the 1994 season, Salisbury has four different winning streaks of 31 games or more under the leadership of Berkman; the longest (69 games) came from April 17, 2003 to May 21, 2006. An 87-game regular season winning streak began on the same date in 2003 and lasted until March 28, 2009.
The induction ceremony will take place at The Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley, Md., and is sponsored by Bollinger Sports Insurance and the Markel Insurance Company.