Don Zimmerman
Don Zimmerman
Title: Head Coach
Phone: 410-455-1323
Previous College: Johns Hopkins, 1976
Experience: 22nd Season

Head Coach Don Zimmerman enters his 22nd season at UMBC and his29th as a collegiate head coach. Amongst Division I head coaches,the Retriever mentor stands eighth with 228 victories and is 16thin winning percentage at .598 entering the 2015 campaign. In theall-time coaching annuals of Division I lacrosse, Zimmerman is 26thin total victories and 47th in winning percentage.


Coach Zimmerman has made 13 NCAA Tournament apperances in histenures at Johns Hopkins (`1984-90) and UMBC (1994-present). His1984, 1985 and 1987 Hopkins teams earned national titles and hecoached the Retrievers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in1998.  


In 1984, he became the first man to lead a team - the JohnsHopkins Blue Jays - to a national championship in his first seasonas a head coach.

Zimmerman won two more national titles at Hopkins, then beganto build the program at UMBC, starting in the spring of 1994. Hepiloted the Retrievers to four consecutive NCAA Division Itournament appearances from 2006-09, a feat accomplished for thefirst time in the school’s Division I lacrosse history. In2009, the Retrievers posted a 12-4 record and won their thirdAmerica East title in four years. The previous season, UMBC set anew school record with 11 straight wins before a tough 10-9 loss atsecond-seeded Virginia in the first round of the NCAAChampionships. UMBC climbed to a school-record ranking of No. 5 bythe USILA in mid-April and was ranked No. 6 in the finalpoll.

Zimmerman was named America East ConferenceCoach of the Year by his colleagues in both 2008 and 2009. TheRetriever mentor was the 2008 Coach of the Yearin LaxPower men’slacrosse Fan Awards, he achieved career win No. 200 in 2010 and is10th among active coaches with 202 victories in 24campaigns.


"UMBC is a well-known and respected name interms of Division I lacrosse, and the volume of emails from(prospective student-athletes) that we receive today versus six orseven years ago is incomparable," Zimmerman said. "The kids realizethat we are a high-tier program. We have been champions of theAmerica East Conference; the NCAA appearances go a long way and thereputation of the university has also made us more attractivebecause kids and parents are not only looking for an opportunity toplay Division I lacrosse, but to get a qualityeducation.


"I have been very fortunate to be at goodschools and worked with good people and I love what Ido."


Zimmerman has signed a contract extension toremain at UMBC through the 2015-16 season.


"We’ve had some success and that is due tothe quality of players that we have been able to attract,"Zimmerman said. "It takes everything to fall into place; I’vehad good assistants, we’ve recruited good players and gottentremendous support from the university, and as a result we havebeen successful. Coaching lacrosse at UMBC is both challenging andrewarding. Having the opportunity to work with quality young menwith a unified goal of competing for a national championship andplaying lacrosse in Baltimore - the cradle of the sport - issomething special."


"Don Zimmerman is one of the nation’s topcollegiate lacrosse coaches," UMBC president Dr. FreemanHrabowski  said at that time. "He is agifted teacher and mentor, and we are delighted he will remain atUMBC, keeping our lacrosse program nationallycompetitive."


"Coach Zimmerman is recognized nationally as oneof the brightest offensive minds and head coaches in the game,"UMBC Director of Athletics Tim Hall said. "Our student-athletes arewell-prepared every time we take the field. We fully expect tocapture another America East title under Coach Zimmerman'sleadership."

The respect that the Retriever mentor has garnered nationallyand globally truly resonated in 2013. He was part of a nine-memberclass (the 19th overall) to be inducted into theJohns Hopkins University Athletic Hall of Fame on Sat., April 20.The previous evening, the partisan crowd at Albany gave him astanding ovation when he was honored before a rivalry game betweenthe Retrievers and the Great Danes.

Later that spring, Coach Zimmerman’sbook, Men’s Lacrosse, co-authored withPeter England, was released by Human Kinetics and receivedoutstanding reviews from the lacrosse community. Less, than twoweeks later, the Retriever mentor led the lacrosseprogram to Japan for the third time in the past nine years. He iscredited with the widespread popularity of the game in the Land ofthe Rising Sun.


Widely recognized as one of this nation’spremier teachers of the sport of lacrosse, Zimmerman traveled toBuenos Aires, Argentina, to assist in the development of the gamein the South American country in December 2004. It was notZimmerman’s first venture in the international development ofthe sport—in fact, the Retriever mentor has taught the gameon four different continents. He has also spent time in Europe(Great Britain) and Asia (Japan).


"The game of lacrosse is the best game out thereand I would love to see it played in the Olympics," Zimmerman said."It’s incumbent upon us to introduce and develop the gamewhen opportunities occur in order to reach that goal."


"My coaching philosophy has always focused onteaching the fundamentals - the little things that make the bigdifference." Zimmerman said. "Lacrosse is a game of skill andprecision, best played when using a simple, basicapproach."


In the spring of 1993, UMBC changed thecomplexion of its lacrosse program by appointing Don Zimmerman asits head coach. Success did not happen overnight. After a 7-7campaign in 1994, UMBC struggled to records of 4-9 and 3-9 the nexttwo seasons. But even then, the program was changing. A positionwas created for a full-time assistant coach in 1996, and UMBCrecruited a trio of players from The Boys’ Latin School thatformed the nucleus of an evolving team.


In 1997, UMBC was the most improved team in thecountry, finishing at 9-3 and posting its highest final seasonUSILA ranking of No. 16. The 1998 season opened with tough lossesto Navy and Towson, but a now more experienced team rebounded bywinning eight of the next 10 games, including a victory over No. 9Georgetown. Then, on May 2, 1998, the Retrievers shocked everyonein the lacrosse world except themselves when they scored a 12-8victory over No. 1 Maryland. The victory propelled UMBC into itsfirst-ever NCAA Division I Championship appearance and made thehard work of Zimmerman and his staff worth the wait.


The 1999 Retrievers proved the previous year wasno fluke, as wins over Navy, North Carolina and Maryland once againlanded UMBC in the NCAA Tournament. In 2003, UMBC took thesecond-biggest leap in the lacrosse power rankings, from 29th to13th. In its second America East Conference season in 2005, UMBCcaptured the regular-season title by defeating Albany on its homefield. In 2006, the Retrievers captured their first America Eastchampionship and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament. In 2007,Zimmerman’s squad became the first UMBC Division I team toadvance in NCAA Tournament play with a first-round win atMaryland.


In the spring of 2005, UMBC Athletics completeda $5 million stadium locker room complex. Among its many amenities,it is the first building on campus to be completely outfitted withfiber-optic cable. Moreover, the stadium field was outfitted withSportexe’s Momentum turf, the same product used at M&TBank Stadium in Baltimore.


"Our goal has always been to get ourselves tothe same level as the other top teams in the country," Zimmermansaid. "What we’re doing in lacrosse runs parallel to whatwe’re doing as a university. We feel we have an outstandingproduct at UMBC and we want people to know that."


Zimmerman’s entire playing and coachingcareer has been based on winning. He led Johns Hopkins (14-0) tothe national title in 1984 and piloted the Blue Jays to anotherpair of championships in 1985 and 1987. The Baltimore nativechalked up 73 wins against only 15 losses in his seven years atHomewood. After leaving JHU after the 1990 season, Zimmerman servedas an assistant coach at Loyola College from 1991-93.


Zimmerman prepped at St. Paul’s School,where he was a member of three MSAA Conference championship teams.A 1976 graduate of Johns Hopkins, Zimmerman played under the lateHenry Ciccarone, received Honorable Mention All-America recognitionand was awarded the Turnbull-Reynolds Award for Sportsmanship andLeadership in 1976. In his first season after graduation, Zimmermanwas named coach of the Hopkins B squad.


After spending a year as assistant coach atPrinceton in 1978, he joined Willie Scroggs’ staff at NorthCarolina. The Tar Heels won a pair of national titles (1981, 1982)in Zimmerman’s four years in Chapel Hill. He then returned tohis alma mater the following year, and when Coach Ciccarone retiredafter the 1983 season, Zimmerman became head coach.


On Jan. 25, 2002, Coach Zimmerman was honoredwith induction into the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the UnitedStates Lacrosse Hall of Fame. UMBC standout defenseman Gary Clipp(‘77) joined him as an inductee in a gala affair atMartin’s West in Baltimore.


Zimmerman also served as an assistant coach ofthe United States team in the 1986 World Games and was a coach forthe South squad for the 2002 North-South All Star game. Zimmermanand his wife, Dorothy, reside in Towson. The Zimmermans have twochildren, Emily and Jake, who just completed four years on the UMBClacrosse squad in 2013.



1984 14-0 JHU NCAA Champions

1985 13-1 JHU NCAA Champions

1986 10-2 JHU NCAA Tournament appearance

1987 10-3 JHU NCAA Champions

1988 9-2 JHU NCAA Tournament appearance

1989 11-2 JHU NCAA Tournament appearance

1990 6-5 JHU NCAA Tournament appearance

1994 7-7 UMBC

1995 4-9 UMBC

1996 3-9 UMBC

1997 9-3 UMBC

1998 9-5 UMBC NCAA Tournament appearance

1999 11-4 UMBC NCAA Tournament appearance

2000 7-7 UMBC

2001 5-7 UMBC

2002 5-7 UMBC

2003 7-6 UMBC

2004 6-8 UMBC

2005 7-8 UMBC

2006 10-5 UMBCAEC Champions/NCAA Tournament

2007 11-6 UMBC NCAA Tournament quarterfinals

2008 12-4 UMBC AEC Champions/NCAA Tournament

2009 12-4 UMBC AEC Champions/NCAA Tournament

2010 4-9 UMBC

2011 6-7 UMBC

2012 5-8 UMBC

2013 7-8 UMBC

2014 8-7 UMBC

Career 228-153 (.598)

13 NCAA Tournament Appearences/3 NCAAChampionships

Zimmerman’s accolades

1976 - All-American, Johns HopkinsUniversity

1981 - NCAA Champions, North Carolina,Assistant Coach

1982 - NCAA Champions, North Carolina, AssistantCoach

1984 - NCAA Champions, Johns HopkinsUniversity, Head Coach

1985 - NCAA Champions, Johns Hopkins University,Head Coach

1986 - United States World Games, AssistantCoach

1987 - NCAA Champions, Johns HopkinsUniversity, Head Coach

2002 - North-South All-Star Classic, AssistantCoach

2003 - Inducted into Greater Baltimore Chapterof

United States Lacrosse Hall of Fame

2006 - America East Conference Coach of theYear

2008 - America East Conference Coach of theYear

Lax Power Coach of the Year (Fan Awards)

2009 - America East Conference Coach of theYear

2013- Inducted into Johns Hopkins UniversityAthletics' Hall of Fame

13 NCAA Tourament appearances

44 All-Americans produced as a head coach

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