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Watertown native Berkman to go into National Lacrosse Hall of Fame

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BALTIMORE — Watertown native Jim Berkman is one of eight inductees being formally welcomed next week into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2013.

This year’s eight-person class will be officially inducted in a ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 26 at The Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley, Md., just outside Baltimore.

Berkman has re-written the NCAA coaching record book during his 25 seasons at Salisbury (Md.) University.

He has led the Sea Gulls to 10 NCAA Division III national championships and four national runner-up finishes while producing 178 All-American players. Including one season at SUNY Potsdam, Berkman has a career coaching record of 428-48 through the 2013 season, with a winning percentage of 90.1 percent — the highest of any men’s college coach in history.

Berkman’s son, Kylor, an All-American midfielder who played on two of his father’s national championship teams, will serve as his presenter.

“He’s done it all,” Kylor said. “There’s not a whole lot more that he could accomplish and people would be surprised about it. He has an amazing ability to motivate people and to make them want to give 100 percent.”

Kylor added that preparation and focus have also been hallmarks of his father’s success.

“He would never overlook an opponent. He was always ready for every game,” he said.

Berkman has bypassed a number of NCAA Division I coaching opportunities through the years to remain at the Division III level.

One of the reasons, he said, is that the demands of coaching are uniformly high, regardless of the competitive level.

“I’ve loved what I’ve had for the past 25 years at Salisbury,” Berkman said. “The way the sport has evolved, the commitment is the same in a lot of ways when you start talking about what it takes to be successful. It’s a pretty strenuous commitment in this day and age.”

Berkman entered the coaching ranks following an All-American playing career at St. Lawrence University, where he was MVP of both the basketball and lacrosse teams in his senior year.

Berkman was previously inducted into the St. Lawrence University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.

Joining Berkman in the 2013 induction class are Quinn Carney Burke, Michele DeJuliis, Sue Heether, Bill Miller, Tracy Stumpf, Ryan Wade and Michael Watson.

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