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Temple lacrosse Hall of Famer Gail Cummings-Danson went from the athletic field to an athletic office

The captain of Temple's 1988 NCAA Champion lacrosse team is now the athletic director at Skidmore College.

Gail Cummings-Danson (second from left) holds 1988 NCAA Championship trophy
Gail Cummings-Danson (second from left) holds 1988 NCAA Championship trophyRead moreTemple Athletics

Athletes come and go through teams and cities. Some stay in the spotlight while others can be lost with the passage of time.

It is about those athletes we ask Where Are They Now?


Then: Three-time all-American and 1988 NCAA champion at Temple

Now:  Athletic director at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

When Gail Cummings arrived at Temple University as a freshman athlete from Huntsville, Ontario, she was persuaded to join the field hockey team because the other players told her that it was just like the hockey she grew up watching in Canada.

"Obviously, it was nothing like it,"  Cummings-Danson said more than three decades later.

Cummings-Danson, in fact, had never seen a field hockey game before arriving at North Broad Street. She grew up playing box lacrosse, which is recognized as the national summer sport of Canada.

Lacrosse was the sport that Cummings-Danson had been recruited to play at Temple by Hall of Fame lacrosse coach Tina Sloan-Green.

In her four seasons with the Owls, Cummings-Danson was named an all-American three times and set all of the school's scoring records, including career points (378), goals (289), and assists (89).

She was the captain of the 1988 squad that went 19-0 on its way to winning the NCAA women's lacrosse national championship. She was MVP of the NCAA tournament, scoring eight goals.

"With the rich tradition of the Temple lacrosse program, it was something that we all expected to achieve," said Cummings-Danson, who was on the team that lost in the title game in 1987. "It wasn't anything we ever took for granted.

"We were always so appreciative that it actually happened. I'm not sure if we realized how special it was until it was achieved and over."

After graduating cum laude from the college of health, physical education, recreation, and dance, Cummings-Danson was a graduate assistant volunteer to the lacrosse team in 1989.

She earned a master's degree in athletic administration and a doctoral in sports management from Temple and began her career in collegiate athletic administration there.

Cummings-Danson then moved to the University of Albany, where she helped the school's transition from Division III to Division I athletics.

She is in her 14th year as athletic director at Skidmore College, which has 19 athletic teams.

"My goal from the third grade was that I was going to be a physical education teacher," she said. "Not until I was at Temple did it occur to me that there were people behind the scenes helping to get things accomplished so that teams could play – making sure that teams had facilities, had the equipment, had coaches."

Cummings-Danson, who was inducted into the Canadian (2008) and United States (2007) Lacrosse Halls of Fame, said that she marveled at the expansion and growth of the campus at Temple, but she still recognizes things that are the same.

"I love that institution," she said. "I grew up in a small town three hours north of Toronto. It was that kid coming to a big city,  and I loved Philadelphia."

If you have a favorite Philly athlete and wonder Where Are  They Now? Let us know and we'll try to find out. @SmallTerp.