Cicero More than a quarter-century after arriving from British Columbia to energize the sport of lacrosse, and seven years after his twin brother received the same honor, Gary Gait is finally making his way to the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame.
The current women's lacrosse coach at Syracuse University, Gait is joining fellow lacrosse legend Barry Powless, plus Greg Tearney, Joe Tesori, Adam Markowski and Don Savage in the Hall's Class of 2013, which was announced Wednesday afternoon at Driver's Village in Cicero.
They will be honored Oct. 21 at the annual Hall of Fame dinner at Drumlins Country Club, not far from where most of the class found athletic glory, and where Tesori was head golf professional for 28 years.
Gary Gait, along with his brother, Paul, were a part of the most dominant period in SU lacrosse history, one where the Orange went 51-5 and earned three consecutive national championships.
Yet it wasn't just the titles, or the 192 goals, or the four All-American honors, that made Gait stand out. It was his playing style, personified by the famous "Air Gait" goal in the 1988 NCAA title game against Cornell that was outlawed from the sport.
A long professional career followed, with Gait playing and coaching on numerous indoor, outdoor and Canadian national championship sides while, at the same time, serving as an assistant coach for the dominant Maryland women's team that won seven consecutive NCAA titles at one point.
In 2007, Gait returned to Central New York, and in six seasons at SU, his women's teams have reached the national semifinals three times and the title game in 2012. Gary coaches his daughter, Taylor, at SU, while his son, Braedon, is a standout at Christian Brothers Academy.
Barry Powless came from a long family tradition of lacrosse dating back to his great-grandfather, Welcome Powless, as part of the Onondaga Nation and Eel Clan. He earned All-American high school honors at LaFayette High School and starred for three years on the SU hill.