WILLIAMSTOWN >> When Renzie Lamb first became the men's lacrosse coach at Williams College, it was a somewhat small, niche sport.
Nearly 50 years later, Lamb has earned his way into the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He is the first coach who spent his entire career in Division III to earn admission. Lamb will be inducted in December as part of the second Hall of Fame class for the IMLCA.
"I'm happy about it, to be sure," Lamb said to The Eagle. "If you live long enough and you've had great players and you've made it fun for them and they've perform, I'm very flattered to get this award. I'm humbled."
Lamb was the head coach at Williams for 35 years before retiring in 2003. His record was 252-184, and he had a post-season record of 23-19.
Lamb's resume includes leading Williams to five ECAC Division III titles and finishing second nine other times. The Ephs, under Lamb, qualified for 12 consecutive ECAC tournaments from 1986-97.
"As the time went on as I was coaching at Williams, we got better and better players," Lamb said. "They were ambidexterous. They were better athletes. I recruited very heavily off the football team because we didn't have spring practice. I got the pick of great athletes from football, some hockey players after their season.
"Great athletes make great coaches, and we were very fortunate at Williams to have great athletes. We still do."
Williams, with Lamb as the head coach, won 19 outright Little Three titles — nine consecutive from 1989-97. Those Ephs also tied for three additional Little Three titles.
"The IMLCA Hall of Fame has quickly become a wonderful reflection of the history of our great game," Limestone College coach and IMLCA president J.B. Clarke said in a statement. "It is our collective honor as today's coaches to introduce the second class of inductees who enjoyed tremendous success at schools in all three NCAA Divisions as well as during the [U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association] championship years, prior to the establishment of the NCAA championship."
Lamb said that going in is an honor. Going in with former Hofstra coach Howdy Myers — who coached Lamb — made it more of an honor that it already is..
"I'm very honored to be going in with contemporaries. My former coach and good friends of mine who coached through this period," Lamb said. "I think the big thing is to be included with them, the old timers."
Lamb and Myers are joined in this year's Hall of Fame class by Bud Beardmore, Henry Ciccarone Sr., Paul Doherty, Jerry Schmidt, Willie Scorggs and Tony Seaman.
The Hall of Fame festivities will take place Friday, Dec. 9 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. It is in conjunction with the IMLCA annual convention.
The newest Hall of Famer is quick to admit that back when he was coaching, he could never have envisioned the growth of the sport.
"No. Absolutely not," Lamb said. "I started with baseball and went to lacrosse in college. You knew everybody in the country that was playing lacrosse. Then, there were only about 1,000 people playing lacrosse in the whole country.
"Now, it's in the millions."
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.