New York's new National Lacrosse League team, which will play its home games at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum, will name Regy Thorpe its head coach and general manager on Monday.
Thorpe, currently the associate head coach for women's lacrosse at Syracuse University, will finish the season with the Orange before joining New York's NLL team full-time starting in June. The team, which will unveil its official name and logo at an event during the New York Open in February at the Coliseum, will begin play in December.
“After conducting a broad search for this position we are thrilled to have Regy on board to build and lead our new team," Gary Fuhrman, board member of GF Sports, the ownership group of the new franchise, said in a statement. "He has not only had success as a professional player and coach in both box and field lacrosse, but is also personally committed to building the sport from the youth to the professional level."
Thorpe, a native of Elbridge, New York, has been with Syracuse, where he won a national championship as a player in 1993, as a member of women's lacrosse head coach Gary Gait's staff since 2010. He started as an assistant coach and was promoted to associate head coach in 2015. In 2017, Thorpe was named head coach of the U.S. men's indoor team, which will compete in the 2019 FIL World Indoor Championship in British Columbia in September. Thorpe, 47, told Newsday that he hopes to have a "good group" of his NLL players competing on the world stage.
"Those are really a period of 10 to 14 days that the lacrosse world really turns all eyes on the world championships," he said. "It's the best of the best for lacrosse, so it's an exciting time for our organization."
Before coaching, Thorpe played 15 seasons in the NLL with the Rochester Knighthawks, where he won championships in 1997 and 2007. He later became the first general manager/player in league history in 2008. Thorpe also played with the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse from 2001 to 2006.
That experience as an NLL player will benefit Thorpe in his new role because he understands the grind many players endure with full-time jobs in addition to their professional lacrosse careers.
"You’re not too far removed from what the guys’ schedule is," Thorpe said. "And obviously we’re going to have a lot of players entrenched in the Long Island market and just realize what they go through in a week-to-week with their battles and work and just really being able to relate to them.”
Thorpe is no stranger to Long Island, having coached the Long Island Sound of the United Women's Lacrosse League since 2016 and played at the original Nassau Coliseum as a visiting player with the Knighthawks.
“Certainly they love their lacrosse," Thorpe said of Long Islanders. "And it’s a great atmosphere to play in as a pro player, so certainly looking to help guide and bring back that excitement at the Nassau Coliseum for the community.”