By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/24/12
Doug Ellers still talks about his days at Millersville University.
“We were at Franklin & Marshall for a baseball game,” Ellers said. “F&M had a lacrosse team, and I saw them playing and was fascinated by the game.”
When Ellers, who had played football and baseball at Ridley Park High School (Class of 1965), finished college and began working in the Ridley School District, he approached his old high school football coach, John Wilson, about a coaching job.
“He had started the lacrosse program at Ridley High in 1969,” Ellers said. “I started coaching with him in 1970, and have been there ever since.
“We’d go to lacrosse clinics at places like the Naval Academy, Johns Hopkins and Princeton and I learned a lot about the game and asked a lot of questions.”
Ellers became boys’ lacrosse head coach at Ridley in 1981 and won more than 300 games before turning the head coaching job over to his son, former Ridley and University of Delaware player Kevin Ellers.
For his years of success as a coach and dedication to the sport of lacrosse, Ellers was inducted by the Delaware County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame at the association’s awards dinner at the Springfield Country Club Sunday night.
“I’m still on the coaching staff at Ridley because I love it,” Ellers, who coached six Central League championship teams, five Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association title-winning teams and two teams that claimed the Keystone State crown, he said.
“Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have so many good coaches to work with and so many outstanding players,” he said. “We just took our (Ridley) team down to Annapolis and won a tournament on Father’s Day. We had a clinic for 5-to-12-year-olds in all that heat last week and we had more than 50 kids show up every day.”
Over the years that Ellers was a head coach, Ridley would compete against the top private schools in the area in postseason play before the PIAA began holding tournaments in 2009.
“We had our share of great games with Malvern Prep and Haverford School,” he said. “You remember so many of those tournament games. In 1994, we lost to Springfield, 10-2, in the regular season then wound up beating them (7-6, for his first state title).”
Ellers, who turned 65 in April, plans to be on the Ridley sideline again next spring.
“I’ve done it for 43 years, so why not make it 44,” he said.