(Photo Courtesy of Army West Point)
*This article is part of a month long series, Black Lacrosse Stories, that highlights Black players and coaches who have made an impact on our game, but may be lesser known to many younger players today.*
Army Lacrosse is know for their defense. Always has and always will. So it’s no surprise that in a series of this sorts that the lone player from West Point would be a defenseman. And Dan Williams wasn’t just any Army defenseman, he was one of the best during the 80s and arguably one of the best in the history of the program.
A product of Hempstead High School, Williams arrived at West Point in the fall of 1983 coincided with the arrival Jack Emmer as the Black Knights’ head coach, taking over following Dick Edell’s move to Maryland.
During Williams’ freshman campaign in 1984, he helped lead the Black Knights to their first and only Final Four appearance, where they fell to Syracuse 11-9. Following that season, Williams was named the first-ever winner of the Gen. L.E. Seeman Award for the top Army freshman.
As a sophomore in 1985 and junior in 1986, Williams won Army’s Jack Rust Award as the team’s Defensive MVP. He was also named a Third-Team All-American during both of those seasons . During those two years, the Black Knights went 10-4 (1985) and 6-6 (1986). They fell in the NCAA Quarterfinals (first round) in ’85 to Virginia.
During his senior season at West Point, Williams helped lead the Black Knights back to the NCAA Tournament where they fell to Adelphi in the first round. He was named a Honorable Mention All-American.
As far as the famed Army-Navy series is concerned, Williams helped lead the Black Knights to two wins over the Midshipmen during his college career. The Black Knights won the annual rivalry meeting in 1984 (9-6) and 1985 (10-6). They fell 12-4 in 1986 and 10-9 in overtime in 1987.