Chesapeake Bayhawks

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Chesapeake Bayhawks
LeagueMajor League Lacrosse
Team historyBaltimore Bayhawks (2001–2006)
Washington Bayhawks (2007–2009)
Based inAnnapolis, Maryland
StadiumNavy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
ColorsNavy, light green, silver, white
OwnerMajor League Lacrosse
PresidentMark Burdett
Head coachTom Mariano
General managerTom Mariano
League titles6 (2002, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2019)
Division titles2001, 2002, 2003, 2005
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

The Chesapeake Bayhawks were a Major League Lacrosse (MLL) professional men's field lacrosse team based in Annapolis, Maryland. They played in the greater Baltimore metro area beginning with the MLL's inaugural 2001 season, as the Baltimore Bayhawks from 2001–2006 and as the Washington Bayhawks from 2007–2009.

They won six Steinfeld Cup titles, the most of any MLL franchise.

Franchise history[edit]

Bayhawks uniforms

Early success[edit]

The Bayhawks played two seasons at Homewood Field at Johns Hopkins University, in 2001 and 2003, while they played at M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore in 2002. Their home moved to Johnny Unitas Stadium on the campus of Towson University from 2004 to 2006. They won National Division titles in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005 and made the 2004 playoffs as a wild card.

In 2001, the Bayhawks won the National Division crown, but fell short in the championship game to the Long Island Lizards. The following year, the Bayhawks repeated as National Division champions and this time avenged their title game loss by beating the Lizards to win their first MLL crown. In the MLL's third season, the Bayhawks continued their National Division dominance with their third straight title, but again came up just short in the MLL Championship against the Lizards. The Bayhawks made the playoffs in 2004, but were eliminated in the semifinals.

The 2005 Bayhawks squad is regarded as one of the greatest lacrosse teams ever assembled.[citation needed] Led by hall-of-famers Gary Gait and Tom Marechek, the Bayhawks went 10–2, dominating the competition and setting several scoring records throughout the year. They scored 47 more goals than any other team and lead the league with fewest goals allowed, resulting in an average score of 20–13. The team capped the regular season with their fourth National Division title and their second MLL crown.

The Bayhawks were the only Major League Lacrosse team to have a winning season in each of the first five years of the league, posting a 44–19 record.

Move to Washington, D.C.[edit]

The 2006 season was a transition year for the Bayhawks. BT Lax Operating purchased the franchise from the prior ownership group led by the Pivec family. The Bayhawks went 4–8 and missed the playoffs for the first time in its history. Following the season, the new owners announced the team would be renamed the Washington Bayhawks and play around Washington, DC.

The Washington Bayhawks played their first home game of the 2007 season at George Mason Stadium in Fairfax, Virginia with the subsequent five home games at Georgetown University's Multi-Sport Field. George Mason Stadium served as the primary field for five home games during 2008 with one home game at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. Both years the Bayhawks produced losing records, 5–7 and 4–8.

In 2009, the Bayhawks returned to Maryland for good and signed a three-year agreement with the US Naval Academy for their home games.[1] A permanent home did not help the Bayhawks on the field, they finished with another 5–7 season.

Dynasty in Annapolis[edit]

In March 2010, the Bayhawks announced a new ownership group, Hometown Lacrosse, LLC led by majority owner Brendan Kelly. The Bayhawks also announced that the team name would be changed to the Chesapeake Bayhawks to include all areas of the region from Northern Maryland to Virginia and Washington, DC to the Eastern Shore. The Bayhawks continued to play at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. The team started out 4–6, leading Kelly to fire John Tucker and take over as head coach himself.[2] With Kelly's leadership, the team finished the 2010 season at 6–6 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2005. The Bayhawks defeated the Boston Cannons 13–9 in the semifinals, and won the Steinfeld Trophy for the third time with another 13–9 victory over their archrivals, the Long Island Lizards.[3]

After a rollercoaster season and another 6–6 record in 2011, the Bayhawks were defeated by the Boston Cannons in a close match-up in the playoffs at home. In the off-season, the team made some major changes when Kelly stepped down as head coach and promoted Dave Cottle from assistant coach to head coach. Cottle immediately brought in Tony Resch to serve as his defensive coordinator. In 2012 they recaptured the Steinfeld Cup, defeating the Denver Outlaws 16–6 in the final.[4]

The Bayhawks repeated as MLL champions in 2013, defeating the Charlotte Hounds 10–9 in the final.[5]

Playoff drought[edit]

Rochester at Chesapeake, 2011

After their third title in four years in 2013, the Bayhawks missed the playoffs in the following four seasons, the second time in franchise history. In 2016, seven teams finished tied atop the standings at 8-6, including the Bayhawks. Due to tiebreaker procedures, the Bayhawks were left out of the playoffs.

In 2017, the Bayhawks started the season 3-1, but a four-game losing streak put them in a bad position at 3-5. The Bayhawks were finally able to regain some momentum but were ultimately eliminated with a loss during the second-to-last week of the regular season. They finished the season on a high note though, a 23-19 victory over the defending champion Denver Outlaws. In the game, rookie Josh Byrne scored seven goals and finished 2017 with the Major League Lacrosse record for goals in a season for a rookie with 39.[6] The win put them at an even 7-7, but did not prevent them from extending their playoff drought to four seasons. On September 14, the Bayhawks announced that head coach Brian Reese would not be returning because the team wanted a full-time coach, the league's first.[7] On December 13, the Bayhawks announced they were bringing back Dave Cottle as head coach.[8]

The Bayhawks were developing plans for a $40 million 10,000-seat stadium on the grounds of the former Crownsville State Hospital that would have included a three-story team headquarters.[2] The project's first phase would be a 6,000 seat amphitheater that the Bayhawks hope to be playing in by 2020, while phase two would include 20 youth fields but the local community raised significant objections to the plans.[9]

Cottle returns as head coach[edit]

The Bayhawks new and old head coach Dave Cottle began the 2018 campaign at home against the Dallas Rattlers, who were playing in their first game since relocating from Rochester. The Rattlers defeated the Bayhawks 15-9.[10] On April 28, the Bayhawks collected their first win of the season and Cottle's second tenure with a 14-11 victory over the Florida Launch.[11]

After a 1-2 start, the Bayhawks would rattle off seven straight victories, including back-to-back wins over the defending champion Ohio Machine, a team who swept them the season before. The Bayhawks would drop three of their last four contests of the regular season, but at 9-5, the team still earned second place and a home playoff game in the 2018 postseason.

In their first playoff appearance since 2013, the Bayhawks lost a close game to the Denver Outlaws, 13-12, despite defeating the Outlaws twice in the regular season.[12] It was only the Bayhawks' second playoff loss in five trips to the postseason since becoming the Chesapeake Bayhawks in 2010.

After the 2018 season, the professional lacrosse landscape changed drastically with the launch of the Premier Lacrosse League and the migration of nearly 150 Major League Lacrosse players to the upstart league. In addition, the number of MLL teams was shaved from nine to six, as two teams folded and one (Charlotte) went on a hiatus. In the new-look MLL, the Bayhawks took advantage. Led by Lyle Thompson, who would win league MVP and offensive player of the year honors, Chesapeake would finish a league-best 10-6 in the regular season. Despite this, the Bayhawks would essentially have to play as the road team as they eventually made it to the championship game, played at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Denver, where they would face: the Denver Outlaws. In front of an Outlaw-friendly crowd, the Bayhawks stormed out to a 5-0 lead before letting Denver slowly creep back into it. The Outlaws would take their first lead of the game, 9-8, with eight minutes to go. The Bayhawks, though, would persevere with goals from Steele Stanwick and Andrew Kew in the final three minutes. Chesapeake would ultimately win their sixth Steinfeld Cup, and first in six years.[13]

In January 2020, Cottle stepped away as head coach.[citation needed] He was replaced by Tom Mariano, who had previously served as an assistant to Cottle.


The Bayhawks' biggest rival were the New York Lizards. They faced each other in five Steinfeld Cup championships: the first three, in 2005, and in 2010. The Lizards won in 2001 and 2003, the Bayhawks in 2002, 2005, and 2010. Both Long Island and the Baltimore area try to claim bragging rights to be the top "hotbed" of producing lacrosse talent.[14]


2020 Chesapeake Bayhawks
# Name Nationality Position Height Weight College
1 Sam Lucchesi United States G 5 ft 11 in 165 lb Hobart
2 Colin Heacock United States M 6 ft 3 in 210 lb Maryland
4 Lyle Thompson Iroquois A 6 ft 0 in 180 lb Albany
9 C.J. Costabile United States D 6 ft 1 in 205 lb Duke
11 Nate Solomon United States A 5 ft 10 in 189 lb Syracuse
12 Ryan Tucker United States M 6 ft 2 in 200 lb Virginia
13 Leo Stouros Canada D N/A N/A Colgate
16 Ryan Keenan United States M 5 ft 9 in 165 lb Penn State
17 Nick Chaykowsky Canada M 6 ft 4 in 207 lb Trent
20 Nick Manis United States M 6 ft 0 in 190 lb Maryland
21 Grant Maloof United States M 6 ft 0 in 185 lb Towson
22 Greg Danseglio United States D 6 ft 0 in 185 lb Maryland
23 Nick Mariano United States M 6 ft 0 in 181 lb Syracuse
24 Jon Paige United States FO 6 ft 0 in 210 lb Queens
25 Luke Anderson United States SSDM 6 ft 3 in 210 lb Marquette
26 Isaiah Davis-Allen United States M 6 ft 3 in 180 lb Maryland
27 Warren Jeffrey Canada D 6 ft 3 in 210 lb Vermont
30 Brian Phipps United States G 5 ft 9 in 190 lb Maryland
34 Chase Levesque United States LSM 6 ft 3 in 195 lb Boston University
42 Andrew Kew Canada A 6 ft 3 in 210 lb Tampa
44 Shane Simpson Canada M 6 ft 1 in 190 lb North Carolina
45 Brendan Bomberry Iroquois M 6 ft 1 in 198 lb Syracuse
50 Zach Melillo United States FO 5 ft 10 in 175 lb Marquette
70 Holden Garlent Canada D 6 ft 2 in 189 lb Canisius
81 Will Weitzel United States LSM 6 ft 1 in 205 lb Yale
88 Mike Panepinto United States M 5 ft 11 in 200 lb Brown
Callum Crawford Canada M 6 ft 3 in 196 lb Dowling

MLL award winners[edit]

Most Valuable Player

Rookie of the Year

Defensive Player of the Year

Offensive Player of the Year

Goalie of the Year

Most Improved Player


Chesapeake Bayhawks Season Records
Year W L Pct Regular season finish Playoffs
Baltimore Bayhawks
2001 10 4 .714 1st in National Division Won semifinal 12-11 over Cannons
Lost championship 15-11 to Lizards
2002 10 4 .714 1st in National Division Won semifinal 15-10 over Cannons
Won championship 21-13 over Lizards
2003[a] 7 4 .636 1st in National Division Won semifinal 15-13 over Pride
Lost championship 15-14 (OT) to Lizards
2004 7 5 .583 2nd in National Division Lost semifinal 24-16 to Cannons
2005 10 2 .883 1st in National Division Won semifinal 20-13 over Rattlers
Won championship 15-9 over Lizards
2006 4 8 .333 6th in Eastern Conference
Totals (BAL) 48 27 .640 2 Championships
6 - 3 (.667)
Washington Bayhawks
2007 5 7 .417 5th in Eastern Conference
2008 4 8 .333 6th in Eastern Conference
2009 5 7 .417 5th in League
Totals (WAS) 14 22 .389
Chesapeake Bayhawks
2010 6 6 .500 4th in League Won semifinal 13-9 over Cannons
Won championship 13-9 over Lizards
2011 6 6 .500 4th in League Lost semifinal 14-13 to Cannons
2012 10 4 .714 2nd in League Won semifinal 16-10 over Cannons
Won championship 16-6 over Outlaws
2013 9 5 .643 2nd in League Won semifinal 13-12 over Nationals
Won championship 10-9 over Hounds
2014 5 9 .357 6th in League
2015 6 8 .429 6th in League
2016 8 6 .571 6th in League
2017 7 7 .500 6th in League
2018 9 5 .643 2nd in League Lost semifinal 13-12 to Outlaws
2019 10 6 .625 1st in League Won semifinal 14-13 over Blaze
Won championship 10-9 over Outlaws
2020 3 2 .600 3rd in League Semifinal vs. Hammerheads canceled
Totals (CHE) 79 64 .552 4 Championships
8 - 2 (.750)
Franchise Totals 141 113 .555 6 Championships
14 - 5 (.706)

[a] August 17 game at Long Island canceled due to rain

Head coaches[edit]

# Name Seasons Coached Regular Season Playoffs
GP W L Pct GP W L Pct
1 Brian Voelker 2001 14 10 4 .714 2 1 1 .500
2 Gary Gait 20032005 49 34 15 .694 7 5 2 .714
3 Scott Hiller 20062007 24 9 15 .375 - - - -
4 Jarred Testa 2008 12 4 8 .333 - - - -
5 John Tucker 20092010 21 9 12 .429 - - - -
6 Brendan Kelly 20102011 15 8 7 .533 3 2 1 .666
7 Brian Reese 20162017 28 15 13 .536 - - - -
8 Dave Cottle 20122015, 2018-2019 86 49 37 .570 7 6 1 .857
9 Tom Mariano 2020 5 3 2 .600 0 .


  1. ^ "Bayhawks to play games at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium". Inside Lacrosse. October 21, 2008. Archived from the original on October 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  2. ^ a b Wagner, Bill (July 19, 2017). "Bayhawks owner likes team, future of MLL". Capital Gazette. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  3. ^ "Bayhawks 2010 MLL Champs!" (Press release). Chesapeake Bayhawks. March 18, 2016. Archived from the original on December 4, 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  4. ^ Mastrodonato, Jason (August 27, 2012). "Bayhawks dominate Denver Outlaws, 16-6, to win fourth MLL championship". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  5. ^ Flynn, Tom (August 26, 2013). "Major League Lacrosse: Chesapeake Bayhawks win second straight crown". Baltimore Post-Examiner. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Byrne's record night lifts Bayhawks in season final" (Press release). Major League Lacrosse. August 3, 2017. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017.
  7. ^ Wagner, Bill (September 14, 2017). "Bayhawks part ways with head coach". Capital Gazette. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  8. ^ "Bayhawks announce Cottle's return as head coach". Chesapeake Bayhawks. December 13, 2017. Archived from the original on August 12, 2018.
  9. ^ Wagner, Bill; Furgurson III, E. B.; San Felice, Selene (November 30, 2017). "Residents express concern over Bayhawks' plan to nest in Crownsville". Capital Gazette. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  10. ^ "New Rattlers win first game, 15-9 at Chesapeake". Major League Lacrosse. April 21, 2018. Archived from the original on August 12, 2018.
  11. ^ "Kelly Faceoff Dominance Leads Bayhawks Past Launch, 14-11". Chesapeake Bayhawks. April 28, 2018. Archived from the original on August 12, 2018.
  12. ^ "Bayhawks drop playoff heartbreaker to Outlaws, 13-12". Chesapeake Bayhawks. August 11, 2018. Archived from the original on April 13, 2019.
  13. ^ Post, Jake Shapiro | Special to The Denver (2019-10-06). "Denver Outlaws see late lead slip away in controversial MLL title game loss". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  14. ^ Shore, Phil (May 10, 2017). "Three MLL Teams Forever Linked in Pro Lacrosse Lore". US Lacrosse Magazine. Retrieved 2 December 2017.

External links[edit]