Gettysburg's Hank Janczyk to Retire After 2021 Season

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER


Following more than four decades patrolling the lacrosse sidelines, including the last 34 at Gettysburg College, head coach Hank Janczyk has announced his impending retirement following the conclusion of the 2021 campaign.
 
As a coach, leader, mentor and friend to many men and women — staff and student-athletes alike — during his long tenure at Gettysburg, Janczyk leaves behind an incredible legacy that extends well beyond lacrosse fields and campus borders.
 
“It’s been very meaningful to spend a lot of my life coaching men’s lacrosse at Gettysburg College,” Janczyk said. “It has been an honor to coach and work with all of the many young men that have come into my life. I thank you for your patience with me; even with all of my faults, you managed to grow into some of the finest people I’ve ever known. It’s been a privilege to work with so many great colleagues, some have even become my best friends for life.”
 
The announcement comes as Gettysburg heads into its final weekend of scheduled competition with a home date against Muhlenberg College on Saturday at 1 p.m. Janczyk will walk among his student-athletes at Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium one final time, intent on ending his career with a memorable victory.
 
“The reason I’m announcing it now is because I didn’t want to make a big deal about this,” Janczyk said. “It has been more than an honor to work with all the players and coaches, and they’re the ones we should be celebrating, in my mind, more than my career.”

Janczyk, who is tied with Duke University’s John Danowski for the longest active head coach in collegiate lacrosse, is in his 39th year as a head coach and has spent the last 34 years as the leader of the Bullets. During that time, he has guided Gettysburg to 26 NCAA Division III Tournament appearances and 19 conference titles, while helping hundreds of student-athletes gain their degrees and march into the professional ranks.
 
“It is impossible to quantify the positive impact Hank has had on the lives of decades of men’s lacrosse student-athletes,” said Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Mike Mattia. “The successful legacy he leaves behind is a testament to the dedication he had to his players, even after they graduate, the hard work he put into each season, and his extraordinary coaching ability.”
 
Janczyk was a noteworthy name when Gettysburg hired him to coach lacrosse and serve as an assistant football coach under Barry Streeter in 1988. He was a standout two-sport star at Hobart College, earning All-America honors on the football field and serving as captain of the Hobart’s 1976 national championship lacrosse team. His coaching career took off shortly after graduating in 1976 with stops at Albany State, Hobart, and St. Lawrence. As an assistant at Hobart, he coached alongside another legendary lacrosse coach and National Lacrosse Hall of Famer, David Urick. Urick, who also coached at Georgetown University from 1990-2012, reunited with his former assistant on Gettysburg’s coaching staff from 2014-16.
 
Janczyk’s first head job was at Salisbury from 1983-85. He led the Sea Gulls to a 33-12 record during his tenure and was named the Babe Kraus Award winner as the Division III Coach of the Year in 1984. After a short stint as an assistant football coach at Ohio Wesleyan University, Janczyk coached Division I Colgate from 1986-87. He was hired as the men’s lacrosse coach and an assistant football coach at Gettysburg in 1988.
 
“I feel very fortunate in acquiring the services of someone who has done it and done it very successfully,” noted former Director of Athletics Bob Hulton when Janczyk was hired in 1988. “His record at Salisbury and Colgate is a very strong indication that he has in fact demonstrated his capabilities of handling the overlapping responsibilities of the two positions.”
 
Janczyk has never had a losing season in his 34 years at Gettysburg. He won the Middle Atlantic Conference title in his second year with the Orange and Blue and guided the team to its first trip to the national semifinals in 1994. The Bullets have been to the national semis 10 more times since that first trip 27 years ago with three of those journeys in 2001, 2002, and 2009 ending in the national title game. Gettysburg’s last run to the semifinals came in 2018 when the team went 19-3 overall and took down top-ranked Salisbury University in double-overtime during the regular season.
 
When Gettysburg joined the Centennial Conference in 1994, Gettysburg quickly emerged as the team to beat. The Bullets have won a league-record 15 conference titles over the last 27 years, 11 more than any other institution. Gettysburg won 10 of 11 championships from 1998 to 2009 and claimed back-to-back crowns in 2015-16.
 
Gettysburg’s record under Janczyk is an astounding 432-125 (.776), including 197-25 (.883) against conference opposition. Over his 39 years overall as a head coach, he trails only former understudy Jim Berkman in victories in NCAA history with 477. Berkman was an assistant coach under Janczyk at Salisbury and has been the Sea Gulls’ head coach since 1989, compiling 571 wins.
 
Janczyk, who was named the Division III Coach of the Year in 2001 and the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Howdy Myers Man of the Year in 2008, has never put his own interests and accolades ahead of his student-athletes. Their success on and off the field has mattered most to the Gettysburg coach, whether it was improving each day in practice as a student-athlete or getting an opportunity to pursue a desired career beyond the borders of campus.

“I’d like to think that I coach people,” said the Gettysburg coach, “and therefore, my major motivation was to guide young men and nudge them into their goals and dreams that they wanted to achieve.”







On the field, the Bullets have racked up an amazing total of 160 All-America awards and seven positional player of the year selections. In the Centennial Conference, Gettysburg has dominated the awards lists with 193 all-conference selections and 13 CC Player of the Year designees over the last 26 years.
 
One of the most impressive notes about Janczyk is his ability to maintain contact with so many of his former student-athletes through the years. He has officiated weddings for his former players and continues to offer advice about family, faith, and careers to any who ask. A number of his former players have returned to Gettysburg to learn the art of coaching and have gone on to successful careers of their own.
 
“It has been awesome to coach with some of the finest young men in America as my assistants,” noted Janczyk. “They truly have the biggest part of our success, on and off the field. I am incredibly grateful to all of them. A special note to my two current coaches, TC DiBartolo and Dylan Hoff, for carrying a lot of the load these last couple of years.”
 
Janczyk’s announcement comes at the tail end of two seasons filled with adversity against unprecedented circumstances. In 2020, the Bullets shot out to a 6-1 start before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a cancellation of sporting events across the country. Janczyk entertained thoughts of retiring following the 2020 campaign, but he wanted to go out on his own terms and returned hoping for one final run on the field.
 
The program bided its time preparing for a 2021 campaign, practicing and waiting for official word from the Centennial Conference and the College. That word came in March and a six-game schedule against conference foes was arranged. Janczyk watched as his team persevered through the campaign and emerged with an impressive 4-1 record heading into this weekend’s final tilt.
 
The Gettysburg coach isn’t sure where the next part of his journey is going to take him. He hopes to remain connected to the College and the lacrosse program in some capacity, but ultimately his path lies with his family and his faith, the only two areas of life he cherishes more than his beloved lacrosse team.
 
“I certainly want to thank my family: my loving life partner and wife, Cindy, my children, Megan, David and Molly, their spouses and their children,” said Janczyk. “They have been the loves of my life. Most importantly, I want to thank Jesus Christ.  I would like to continue to dedicate the rest of my life in honoring, serving and following Him. My faith in Jesus is everything to me.
 
“Lastly, it seems at the end of my career, what I’ve always believed is true: it’s all about the causes you believe in and the relationships that you cherish. I’ve had a lot of both.”
 
Janczyk’s retirement leaves a big hole to fill within the Gettysburg athletics department. It will be a competitive pool of candidates for the head coaching job and the aspiring future leader of the Bullets will need to be prepared to shoulder the responsibility of maintaining what Janczyk has built.
 
“Hank will definitely be missed,” said Mattia. “His influence over the game of lacrosse goes well beyond Gettysburg College, the Centennial Conference, and even NCAA DIII. The incredible history, tradition, and success that has been established during Hank’s time with the program remains, and we will be sure to attract some excellent candidates when we conduct a national search.”

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