Ex-Dartmouth Assistant Paul Schimoler Dies at 45
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Paul Schimoler, Dartmouth men’s lacrosse assistant coach, takes a shot to warm up his goalkeepers during practice in Hanover in February 2012. Schimoler died on Friday at 45. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
Hanover — With his shaved head, raspy voice and slight limp, Paul Schimoler was easy to locate on the Dartmouth College men’s lacrosse practice field and sidelines. Those aren’t the reasons, however, that the 45-year old captivated his charges during his lone season as a Big Green assistant.
Schimoler, who died of cancer Friday after stepping down from his position in January, was something of a living legend. Touted by many lacrosse aficionados as the best goaltender to ever play the sport, the Manhasset, N.Y., native was a four-time All-American at Cornell during the late 1980s. Despite those accomplishments, however, he didn’t come close to putting on airs.
“As terrific a lacrosse player and coach as Paul was, he was always very humble and down-to-earth,” said Andy Towers, Dartmouth’s fourth-year men’s lacrosse coach, in an athletic department release. “His hyper-competitive spirit and accountability were legendary.
“Even though he’s no longer with us physically, he will be in our hearts forever and leaves the world a better place. The 2013 Dartmouth season will be dedicated to his memory.”
Schimoler’s death comes as the Big Green prepares for its season opener against visiting Colgate on Saturday. The No. 11 Raiders are 2-0 and feature the 2012 NCAA Division I Player of the Year, Peter Baum. It’s exactly the type of challenge Schimoler would have relished, and in which his experience would have helped Dartmouth.
A 1989 Cornell graduate who earned a degree in hospitality management, Schimoler was a four time All-Ivy League selection and the league’s Rookie of the Year as a freshman. During his sophomore year, the Big Red were Ivy champions and were NCAA Division I finalists in 1987 and 1988. During his senior season, he was the Ivy Player of the Year and he is a sports Hall of Fame member for Cornell and Long Island, N.Y.
Schimoler earned world championship gold medals with the 1990 and 1994 U.S. national teams and continued playing at the club level despite lingering knee pain. He was an assistant coach at Cornell and Rensselaer before taking the head job at St. Michael’s, the latter stop covering eight years.
Between working as a restricted-earnings assistant at Cornell and landing at RPI, Schimoler toiled for seven years opening and managing restaurants before tiring of that lifestyle’s hectic pace. He went on to lead St. Michael’s to a 61-54 record and the Purple Knights climbed as high as No. 12 in the NCAA Division II rankings during the 2011 season.
Paul Schimoler’s brother, former Syracuse lacrosse star John Schimoler, 50, died in his sleep last year. John Schimoler’s teenage son, Gunnar, recently wrote on insidelacrosse.com that Paul Schimoler “never played goalie in high school until his senior year. He was a starting attackman until his senior year. When his team went on man-up he would grab his short stick and go play on man-up. That just shows how special of a player my uncle was.
“For months, he was … sick and tired but he kept going, thinking it was just pain from his knee. He kept working, never skipped a beat. This fatigue later turned out to be cancer. He fought so hard, never complaining. He was so much sicker than we thought.”
Schimoler is survived by his wife, Lynn Ellen, their 5-year old son, Jack, and their 19-year old daughter, Serena. Lynn Ellen Schimoler is a former dance artist who attended Hanover High School during the 1980s and who has worked as a manager at the City Market food co-op in Burlington.
Tris Wykes can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3227.