Delbarton School 2005
Duke University 2010
Truly Outstanding Player
Ned was a two psport athlete at Delbarton playing Larosse and Hockey. A standout also in Hockey, he was selected NJ Player of the Year in 2005 and entered the NJ HS Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010. He was a three-year Lacrosse letterman 2003,2004, and 2005, first team Fitch Division, All-State and All-America 2004 and 2005. Ned was also NJ Lacrosse Foundation, STar Ledger, Daily Record and NJ Coaches Assoc. Player of the Year in 2005. Ned helped Delbarton to three straight state championships 2003,2004 and 2005. During his varsity lacrosse career Ned's Career Stats at Delbarton are 93 goals- 5th best in Delbarton History, 73 Assists- 2nd Best in Delbraton History and 166 Total Points - 4th Best in Delbarton History.
Crotty then went on to Duke, where he remains fifth on the Duke career points list with 239 point. A three-time USILA all-America ouck, once at midfield and two tim first team All-American at attack, Crotty finished his career with 92 goals and 146 assists for 239 points. His 146 assists are second all-time.
Crotty departed Duke as one of the most decorated players in Blue Devil history and was a driving force in leading the Blue Devils to their first NCAA ttile in 2010. He was awared the USILA's Lt. Col J.I. Award in 2009 as the nation's top attackman as well as the 2009 ACC player of the year and was a 2009 Tewaaraton finalist. He followed that with the Tewaaraton in 2010 and was also the 2010 McKevlin Award winner as the ACC Male Athlete of the Year.
Crotty hold the Duke single-season assist record with 63 and has two of the top three assist totals in a year with his 55 in 2009. His 78 and 86 points in the 2009 and 2010 respective seasons currently rank ninth and 11th at Duke.
After leading Duke to its first NCAA title in 2010, Crotty went on to be selected first in the Major League Lacrosse draft and helped lead the U.S. National Team to gold at the 2010 FIL World Championships. He was the lone collegiate player selected to play for the U.S. in 2010. He has since represented the United States at the 2014 World Championships and will represent Team USA a third time this summer for the 2018 World Games in Israel.
In professiona lacrosse, Crotty has had success in the MLL. He was taken by Chicago Machine(now Ohio Machine) with the first pick in the 2010 draft. His rookie season he posted 11 goals and 11 assists for 24 points in seven games to earn the MLL Rookie of the Year award. While playing with the New York Lizards, Criotty won the 2015 MKK Championshio. Crotty currently suiting up for the Dallas Rattlers, is a four-time MLL All-Star selection and was voted to the All-MLL team in 2011. In his eight seasons in the MLL, Crotty has scored 123 goals and assisted on 144 for 269 points in 93 career games.
Michael J. Cleary
Essex Catholic High School 1969
Newark State (Kean) College 1973
Truly Outstanding Coach
Michael J. Cleary is the Director of lacrosse Operations at Kean University. He has served as an assistant coach for fivr decades starting in 1978 under legendary Coach Hawley Waterman and will start his 40th season this year with Coach Shelly Sheiner. Mike played on the original Newark State (KeanO Lacrosse and football teams in the early 70s. An All-Conference selection in Lacrosse in 1973 for NSC, Mike coached the Maplewood Lacrosse Club team in 1974 and played for the New Jersey Lacrosse Club. His college coaching career began when then Detective Cleary was asked by Coach Waterman to "help out at a scrimmage." That one day has now spanned over 40 years.
Mike worked the Garden State Gmaes in the 1980's along with Mark Hellanack and Hawley Waterman. Participating in the World Lacrosse Games in Japan, 1992 and Australia, 1993 with the Kean University team was a highlight of his career. He continues as site supervisor for the NJSIAA Final Four at Kean.
Coach Cleary has been a fixture on and off the field coaching, mentoring and guiding young athletes. The practice of good players who are good people is a constant. An emphasis on academics and proper behavior adds discipline and positive guidance to young athlete development. Following in the lead of Hawley Waterman, the large number of Kean lacrosse graduates who enter the fields of education, coaching and public safety and are successful in many endeavors is a source of pride for the Kean Staff.
Mike retired in 2008 from The East Orange Police Department after a 35 year career and served as Chief from 2004-2008. He received many honors during his tenure including accolades from NJ Assembly and Senate, New Jersey State Police, DEA, East Orange Mayor and Council. The reduction of violent crime by 58% in the city was the highlight of his career.
Inducted into the Kean Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985, he has served on the Hall of Fame selection committee since 1986. The Kean University Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Mike in 2016. In December 2017, Coach Cleary was named the USILA/IMLCA Division III Assistance Coach of the Year at the National Convention.
Fork Union Military Academy 1977-1980
University of Massachusetts 1981-1984
Richard Rizk "Unsung Hero" Award
Charlie has been involved in the Millburn-Short Hills youth lacrosse program since 1997 (21 years). During that time he has been the 8th grade coach, served as the schedular, treasurer (establishing the program as a 501 C3 entity), drafted the operating guide, established the programs fist website leading to a more efficient communication and online registration and payment process, established access on-line to pre-season baseline concussion testing via Atlantic Health Systems, established background checks for coaches and volunteers via the National Center for Safety Initiative. Charlie assumed the position of the program president in 2009.
Charlie has been active in the NJJLL for over 17 years having served:
In 2003, he coached the Millburn High School JV team in addition to serving the youth program. In 2005 named Man of the Year for the Rizk Conference.
Over the past 30 years, Charlie has worked in the financial service industry in operation and technology supporting global asset management, asset servicing and wealth management businesses creating unique, efficient and economical solutions supporting the needs of the client and business growth strategies. He has an MBA and is a Charted Financial Analyst (CFA).
Charlie and his wife Anna Lisa, reside in Short Hill, NJ.
Paterson Eastside High School 1968
Truly Outstanding Official
George Gagis's passion for football and lacrosse has always been at the forefront of his life. His football officiating commenced in 1975. George worked with his crew for 43 years in youth and high school football. Their outstanding reputation and dedication brought them onto the field of numerous State Championship games.
The highlights of George's career in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Lacrosse are many. Among them are: two Division 3 national Championships, two Division 2 national Championships, and four high school championships games. His lacrosse travels took him to Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State and many other NCAA games. One of the country's largest annual Lacrosse tournaments that George officiated in the Vail Lacrosse Shootout - known as the highest altitude tournament. This event draws trams of all levels nationwide and offers seven different men's divisions for players of all ages. Being in Vail offered George the opportunity to share his passion for the sport with many other officials from throughout the country. George's love for the game has only deepened as the years passed by.
George Gagis is a native of Paterson, NJ whose parents immigrated from Greece. George's first passion was the hospitality business. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New Haven , Connecticut in 1971. Upon graduation, he became a line chef at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC, under the direction of the famous chef, Arnold Schmidt. After his time there, he became a South Chef at the upscale Lafayette Restaurant in NYC. Soon after, he partnered with his brother, and they bought The Villa Diablo Restaurant in West Orange, which he then renovated to a seafood restaurant called the Grouchy Crab. His next venture was The Rutherford House. It was here, that many lacrosse dinners, meeting, and holiday parties took place. You could find many fellow officials at the RH with their families celebrating special occasions. George is thankful to all the officials who always took the time to drop by and share the highlights of their games. The 30 years that George spent at the Rutherford House are filled with countless special memories that he will cherish forever.
George is honored and thankful to be a part of this elite group of members of the New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Graham C. Gill
Shawnee High School 2000
Avon Old Farms (CT) 2001
United State Naval Academy 2005
Graham was a 3-year letter winner in soccer at Shawnee High School, winning a State Championship in 1998. He was named to the All-State team. Shawnee did not have a men's lacrosse team during his high school years so Graham played for the South Jersey Black Storm Club where he was coached by Ed McLaughlin. He played form 1997 to 2000. for Black Storm and in 2000 was team captain. Before entering the US Naval Academy he played both soccer and lacrosse at Avon Old Farms and was named the MVP of the New England Prep School League All-Star team in both sports.
During Grahams's time at the Naval Academy he was a four-year starter. In his 2nd year, he started every game and produced 22 points on 13 goals and 9 assists as the team's 3rd leading scorer. He scored 5 goals against Ohio State and almost single handedly won that game scoring 4 of Navy's final 5 goals.
In his junior year he earned Honorable Mention All-American recognition after leading the Mids from midfield with 34 points on 24 goals and 10 assists. He was also named First-Team All Patriot League in both his junior and senior years. He was named Patriot League Tournament MVP in his senior year. he was awarded the Lt. j.g. Donald McLaughlin award as Mids' top midfielder.
He scored the tying and game winning goals in the last minute of play against top-ranked Maryland, leading the Mids to their first documented win over a No. 1 ranked team. In the quarterfinal of the 2004 NCAA Championship, Graham's 2nd goal of the game led Navy to a 6-5 victory over Cornell and sent the team to the Final Four where they played Syracuse in the National Championship game.
Graham was a two-time All American including selection to the First Team in his senior year. He led he Mids to back to back NCAA Tournament appearances. Following graduation from the USNA and while awaiting assignment to flight school he was drafted to play for the MLL and NJ Pride and LA Riptide. During his flight training, Navy allowed him to travel on the weekends to play. In 2007 he was named MLL All-Star from 2008-2014 he was a member of the LXM Pro Tour Team.
Graham has continued his love of the game by caching multiple middle and high school teams in Jacksonville and Honolulu. He has continued to stay engaged with young athletes in his various posts of duty.
Upon flight school graduation Graham was assigned to fly the Orion P-3 ad is currently an Instructor Pilot for the P-8 and has been deployed around the world.
Graham lives with his wife Kara, daughter Audrey and son Christian - born on 2/28/17 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
Michael D. Pounds
Montclair High School 1980
West Point Preparatory Prep 1981
Springfield College 1985
University of Virginia 1988
Mike started his lacrosse career in Montclair, was a team captain his senior year and 1st Team All-State Goalie for the 1980 State Champion Montclair Team. At Springfield he was a fur year starting Goalie and two year Captain Mike was a three-time Al New England Player while at Springfield and played in twp NCAA DIII playoffs. He remains one of the top career save leaders at Springfield.
While attending grad school at UVA he served as the Assistant Men's Lacrosse Coach and played for the Virginia Lacrosse club.
Coach Pound's first head coaching position was at SUNY Potsdam from 1988-1990. Following Potsdam, he moved on as the Head Assistant Coach at the University of Pennsylvania for one season. He was Head Coach at SUNY Cortland from 1991-2000 and Head Coach at Virginia Wesleyan from 2000-2002 with an overall 100-95 collegiate record.
Mike took over as the Head Varsity Boys Lacrosse Coach at Ridgewood in 2003 and during his 15 year career amassed a record of 236-94. During that period, Ridgewood won eight Group III Championships - 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2014, 2015, won Sectional Championships in 2008, 2011, 2016, 2017. Ridgewood has also won or shared the Gibbs Division Championship in 2011, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Mike was selected as Coach of the Year several times in 2003 and 2007 for North Jersey High School Boys Lacrosse, in 2008 for the Gibbs Division, 2013 and 2014 Group III and in 2015 and 2017 for Bergen County.
Mike resides in Ridgewood, NJ with his wife, Catherine, and four sons - Evan, Noah, Ben, and Eli.
Dansbury High School (CT) 1972
Ursinus College - 1976
Trenton State College (TCNJ) 1995
Jill Thomas has been the Varsity Girls Lacrosse coach at Princeton Day School for 20 years. She has 500+ career wins at PDS, and has coached more than 100 teams. Her lacrosse teams have won five Patriot League Championships, a Mercer County Championship in 2010, and MCT Runner-up in 2011. Jill has been awarded Coach of the Year honors from the Princeton Packet, the Trenton Times, and the Trentonian multiple times. In 2009, she was named the Town Topics of Princeton's Top Coach among Female Programs. She also served as an All-American Committee Member for NJ South from 2008-2012. Most recently. Jill has had the honor of coaching the PDS girl's lacrosse team to three straight Prep B State Championship titles in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Jill began her career at Princeton County Day School in 1988. During her 3 years at he school she has filled multiple roles, including serving for 18 years as the Chair of the Physical Education Department. In addition, she has coached the Varsity Field Hockey team for 21 years, the Varsity Girls Basketball for 15 years, and has served as the Princeton Day School's Peer Leadership Program Coordinator for 26 years.
Outside of Princeton Day School, Jill helped start Princeton Lacrosse Club, a successful girls PreK-8th grade youth program, where she served as head coach for 14 years.