Tom Borrelli (1957-2008)
Tom Borrelli of the Buffalo News becomes the first member of the media to be recognized by the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame.
Borrelli was the most experienced member of the National Lacrosse League media, having covered the league since the debut of the Buffalo Bandits in 1992. No other journalist in league history has covered as many NLL games as Borrelli, who in addition to being a top NLL beat writer, had a genuine love of the game that showed in his writing.
Borrelli often volunteered his own time to travel to and report on league games that are outside of normal responsibilities at the Buffalo News. Borrelli possessed a wealth of league knowledge, often assisting league and team media relations departments in the research and confirmation of historical league stats. Borrelli also wrote about the NLL for Lacrosse magazine, the official publication for US Lacrosse.
In 2005, the league first recognized Borrelli's contributions to the league by naming its new annual award for Writer of the Year as "The Tom Borrelli Award."
On November 8, 2008, Borrelli was covering a high school football game for The Buffalo News when he fell down a flight of steps while attempting to reach the press box. He was critically injured from the fall and died twelve days later on November 20, at the age of 51. It was a devastating blow to all who knew him, as well as countless members of the lacrosse community and sports fans in general who read Borrelli's coverage of lacrosse and other sports.
The league will continue to award "The Tom Borrelli Award" annually to the league journalist deemed to be the Writer of the Year.