By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com Posted 8/29/13
WYNDMOOR, Pa. – Bill Leahy has always been humble while receiving the accolades for building a national power lacrosse program at La Salle College High.
So the man – who in the past three years has been inducted into two Halls of Fame and this year won his fourth state title in 10 seasons – was pleased to announce that his right-hand man, Tony Resch, was being elevated to Associate Head Coach at La Salle.
It’s unfair to call Resch an “assistant coach” and Leahy would be the first to say so. Resch is generally considered one of the top defensive coaches at any level of all time and has the resume to prove it.
From 1994 to 2001 Resch was the head coach of the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League where he led the team to four championships. Resch was the NLL Coach of the Year award in 2001 and in 2008 was inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame.
Resch also has enjoyed much success as a coach in Major League Lacrosse. His career began in 2003 as an assistant coach with the former Baltimore Bayhawks. He won back-to-back MLL championship titles in 2006 and 2007 with the Philadelphia Barrage. During his stint with the Barrage, Resch was named the 2006 Warrior MLL Coach of the Year.
Then, the past two years Resch helped the Chesapeake Bayhawks win back-to-back MLL titles as the Defensive Coordinator, capping it on Sunday when the team toppled Charlotte for the crown here at PPL Park.
Resch came to La Salle in 2002 as Athletic Director after serving as head coach at Penn Charter, his alma mater. In 2003 he became Leahy’s assistant and in 2004 La Salle won its first state title. With Resch handling the defense and Leahy leading the offense, La Salle won state titles in 2008, 2009 (first year of state sanctioned play by the PIAA) and 2013. La Salle also reached the state finals in 2010 and 2012.
“The best thing is that he is a great guy, a humble guy,” said Leahy, whose team was ranked No. 3 in the final TopLaxRecruits.com rankings this year. “It’s a fitting title for what he has already done for the program.”
Resch, now a guidance counselor with Leahy, actually was Leahy’s coach several years with the Wings and played with him with the old Eagle’s Eye post-collegiate team.
“I think Coach Resch is a great coach because he is a little old school in teaching,” said Leahy, who this year was inducted into the Eastern PA Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame and was the first lacrosse coach inducted into the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame (2010). “He has a lot of Philly ball in him – the mentality of playing tough and playing smart.
“His basic knowledge of the game and his ability to teach young kids is above reproach. He drills old school until it works.”
Many of Resch’s players at La Salle have gone on to play Division I lacrosse. The most notable is Tucker Durkin, a 2009 Phillylacrosse.com Player of the Year who became a three-time All-American at Johns Hopkins and one of the top MLL rookies this season for Hamilton.
“A lot of people would say Tony is at the top of (coaching) list,” Leahy said of Resch, a two-time All-American at Yale who also played on the US gold-medal winning National team in 1990. “I am biased. I don’t think (anyone is better), but I am sure some people in Baltimore would argue that.”
When Leahy accepted his Hall of Fame award this winter, he credited Resch for the biggest influence on his career.
“The best part is we do it together,” said Leahy, who along with Resch have recently taken the helm of the HEADstrong L.C. North program. “At times I take the lead and at times he takes the lead. It’s all about La Salle lacrosse; not who gets the credit.”
Coach Resch, this one is for you!