Stick to Cake: Former Laxer Duff Goldman Found a Passion for Baking


Food Network personality Duff Goldman played club lacrosse at UMBC before making it big through Ace of Cakes.

Duff Goldman’s passion for baking started with cornbread.

After graduating from UMBC, where he played club lacrosse, Goldman’s first job out of college was making cornbread in Baltimore.

Now, decades later, Goldman is best known as the face of the Food Network show “Ace of Cakes.” Now he’s competing against “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro in the network show “Buddy vs. Duff.”
Goldman took time with us to reflect on his lacrosse career.

How did you get into lacrosse?

My brother played lacrosse, and I was always hanging out with them. I liked those guys. It was a different vibe than football, which I played, so I started playing lacrosse my junior year and I just loved it.
Football is very regimented. A play happens, you stop and stand around. In lacrosse, there’s a real flow and energy to the game. It doesn’t stop.

When did you decide to pursue baking?

I was at UMBC, and I wanted to be a chef. I met a guy there that worked at this really nice restaurant in Baltimore, and he got me a job there. The only job that the chef would give me was baking cornbread. I was like, “Alright, whatever I’ve got to do to get my foot in the door.”

I started making cornbread, and it turned out that I loved it. It was super fun. I thought I wanted to do this as a career. I worked all over the country after graduating from culinary school. I eventually ended up back in Baltimore.

I was trying to be in a band. I was trying to play music full-time. I quit my job and started selling wedding cakes out of my apartment to pay rent while I was trying to be a rock star.

What are your favorite memories from UMBC club lacrosse?

I loved playing the Navy game. Navy has such a beautiful field and you’re right there on the water. Going down there was always a real treat. The first half we’d always be beating them, because we were better lacrosse players. The second half, they’d be running circles around us because they were running 11 miles a day. In my four years, we never beat Navy.

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