Georgia Tech head coach Ken Lovic has been inducted into the SELC Hall of Fame. Georgia Tech was an original member of the SELC and Lovic has been a part of the Yellow Jacket program for 25 years, 24 as head coach. Lovic, a Baltimore native, is the winningest coach in Georgia Tech history with 238 wins and has overseen the most successful era in Tech lacrosse over the last several years. The Yellow Jackets have won four SELC championships under Lovic's leadership and advanced to the national tournament six times. Lovic also oversaw Georgia Tech earn their first #1 ranking in the national poll in 2017. In addition to the team success, numerous Tech players have earned both conference and national recognition of their individual efforts. The individual honors are highlighted by Chris O'Brien winning the prestigious Godekraw Award in 2016 for his exploits on the field, in the classroom, and the community. Ken has also served as secretary of the SELC and the President of the MCLA over his time as a head coach.
Ken has helped foster a strong sense of community amongst the Georgia Tech Lacrosse alumni, which can be seen at the annual alumni game which this past year featured alumni from four different decades. Alumnus Robert Jaeger summed Lovic's impact this way, "Ken had a tremendous positive impact on me as a student athlete as my coach, mentor and confidant. His coaching has carried through into my personal life far beyond graduation helping mold me as a person and father. I am proud to have worn the GT Lacrosse colors and grateful for the relationships born from Ken's devotion to building a brotherhood amongst teammates." Four individuals who played under Lovic later joined his coaching staff during his tenure.
Coach Lovic never limited his focus to the on-field exploits of his teams. He has never shied away from helping his players in any aspect of their lives. Alumnus Carsten Heiliger summed up Coach Lovic this way, " It took me until after graduation to realize how lucky I had been to have Ken lead the program while I was at Tech. As a leader and mentor, the discipline and integrity he demands helps get you through the rigorous Tech curriculum, and it stays with you after you graduate. A good coach makes players better. A great coach makes people better, too. Ken's a great coach."
In addition to his work with the student athletes, Coach Lovic has created a supportive environment for his assistant coaches. He has had three different assistant coaches work with him for ten years or more. Rob Lyng, Lovic's long time consigliere, was with the program for 13 years before retiring and moving to Boston. Lyng continues to come back to Atlanta to work the GT Lacrosse camp every year as the goalie director. Current assistants Mat Edmunds and E.J. Freeman have been with Georgia Tech for 10 and 11 years respectively. When asked about his time with Coach Lovic, Freeman said, "Ken has been an outstanding mentor over the years. He provided guidance and let me learn without ever being controlling. Our relationship has evolved into a great friendship over the years allowing us to work together and support each other as coaches. He creates a collaborative environment and does not necessarily trump everyone because he's the head coach, which gives the whole staff more ownership of the program."
Mick Stapleton was the only senior on the 2015 team and served as a captain on that team that started Tech's current streak of consecutive national tournament appearances. He remembers his time with the Jackets fondly and remembered Coach Lovic's style this way, "Coach Lovic ran a tight ship. His unwavering confidence in the defensive strategy provided us alignment. His standard for commitment and discipline made it clear who was bought in. His dedication and passion for the program were contagious. And while ensuring a serious tone to the program, coach knew when to loosen things up and have a little fun. Striking that balance was important for us, and part of what made him a great coach."
Coach Lovic's story is not complete without mentioning his family: his wife of 20 years, Beth and their son Kade. Beth has supported Ken's work with the Jackets over the years despite the time demands and can often be seen on the sideline during games. Kade has become a fixture at games as well and will also make the occasional practice appearance.
Long time Program Administrator Bob Schack has worked with Coach Lovic for years and had the following to say, "I have worked with Ken since 1997 in support of the team from an Alumni standpoint and his love and respect for his players, Georgia Tech, and the sport of lacrosse is remarkable. We could not have a better man to lead and inspire the players, coaches, parents, alumni and fans. It has been an honor to work with him!"
Congratulations to Ken Lovic on his induction to the SELC Hall of Fame!