By Craig Rybczynski, Bandits.com
Those who know Hall of Fame lacrosse player and coach Randy Mearns realize that he is never at a loss for words. His chatty nature and lively performance make him so popular on the sidelines and behind the microphone.
Well that all changed two weeks ago after receiving a congratulatory phone call. Mearns was stunned when he learned that the Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League (UCBLL) Championship Trophy would be named after him.
” Voiceless. That’s a good way to describe it when I heard the news, ”said the St. Bonaventure University men’s lacrosse head coach. “I was like, ‘Wow. This is crazy!’ It is certainly very humiliating!
“Lacrosse has always been a passion and I have been fortunate to work with so many great players, coaches and employees to help develop the Creators game and have the opportunity to make amazing friendships. throughout life. I have been very blessed and thank UCBLL for this great honor. “
It is only fitting that the league bestowed this honor on a man who meant so much to the growth and success of field and box lacrosse in Rochester and Buffalo. Mearns has achieved success and notoriety in all facets of the game, whether as a player, coach or color commentator. Five times he was inducted into the Canisius College Hall of Fame, the first Rochester Knighthawks, Western New York Lacrosse, Ontario Lacrosse and Canadian Lacrosse franchise.
“I had the pleasure of playing with Randy for several seasons in Rochester and Buffalo,” said Buffalo Bandits general manager Steve Dietrich. “He was an incredible all-round player who combined great skills, knowledge, passion and leadership that helped every team he was a part of. Being able to watch Randy and listen to him, it’s no surprise that he made it through the next steps in becoming an extremely successful Division I coach. ”
Professionally, Mearns broke into the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (later the National Lacrosse League) in 1993 and won a championship with the Buffalo Bandits before leading I-90 to spend his next seven seasons with the Knighthawks. original (1995-2001). While in Flower City, the St. Catharines, Ont. Native helped the Knighthawks in four title games (1995, ’97, ’99 and 2000), including victory in 1997. Mearns has finished his career in 2002 in Buffalo, ending his professional career with 244 points.
He was even more successful playing box lacrosse in Canada, winning the Mann Cup championships with the Brampton Excelsiors (1992-93) and Six Nations Chiefs (1994-96). He also won a Minto Cup in 1990 with the St. Catharines Athletics.
Internationally, Mearns has competed as a player and coach for Team Canada. He has twice won a gold medal, winning a world championship as an assistant and head coach. In 2014, he led the Canadian National Team to the International Lacrosse Federation (IDF) World Championship. He was previously an assistant coach in 2006 and 2010, with the 2006 team winning the gold medal.
At the college level, the former triple top scorer at Canisius College coached his alma mater for 19 years. During his tenure with the Golden Griffins, Mearns led his program to two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championships and NCAA tournaments in 2008 and 2012. On June 20, 2017, Mearns was named inaugural coach of Division I St. Bonaventure University. Last season, he guided the Bonnies to a 5-5 record and a move to the MAAC semifinals.
Mearns has been a strong supporter of UCBLL and encouraged its players to put their skills in the box. On August 2, he will attend the Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League Finals at the Blue Cross Arena and hand over the inaugural Mearns Cup. The UCBLL Playoffs open Thursday, July 29 in Rochester.
“Randy is a lacrosse icon in western New York State and has spent his life developing the field and boxing games in Buffalo and Rochester. It’s great to have someone of his stature associated with our league because the championship trophy will now be named after him, ”said current Rochester Knighthawks general manager Dan Carey, who played for Mearns at Canisius. before making the jump to the NLL as a player. “Randy has been a great advocate for UCBLL. As a Hall of Fame lacrosse player and coach, he knows firsthand the benefits of playing box lacrosse.
The Mearns Cup champions will compete at the USBOXLA National Championships, the host site for the second national championship in the National Collegiate Box Series (NCBS). The event is scheduled for San Jose, Calif., From Friday August 6 through Sunday August 8, in what will easily be the largest box lacrosse event in American history. Over 130 teams will compete in divisions ranging from Novice to the National Collegiate Box Series.
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