NEW YORK, January 14, 2019 – The New York National Lacrosse League (NLL) team announced today that Regy Thorpe has been named Head Coach and General Manager for the franchise. A decorated former professional lacrosse player, Thorpe brings more than 20 years experience as a coach and general manager at nearly every level of men’s and women’s field and box lacrosse to his new position. The New York NLL team was awarded to live events and sports media entertainment company GF Sports and its affiliates (“GF Sports”) in December 2018 and will begin play this December with home games at the newly renovated NYCB LIVE.
The team also announced today that the official name and logo will be unveiled at a special event at NYCB LIVE during the New York Open (February 9-17), an annual men’s professional ATP tournament owned and operated by GF Sports. Since December, the team has been surveying fans on their website for feedback on the team name. Thorpe will appear at the unveiling event and the team plans to host a lineup of lacrosse clinics throughout the tournament. Additional information on the unveiling and clinics will be available in the coming weeks on www.nllnewyork.com and www.newyorkopen.com.
“After conducting a broad search for this position we are thrilled to have Regy on board to build and lead our new team. 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,” said Gary Fuhrman, Managing Partner at GF Capital and Board Member of GF Sports. “As a New York-native with deep roots in the lacrosse community throughout the region, Regy’s unique experience and perspective will also be invaluable as we continue connecting with the lacrosse community locally to forge the relationships we know will be important to the success of this franchise.” Fuhrman continued by reiterating his view that “now is the moment for this sport.”
Thorpe, who currently serves as the Associate Head Coach for women’s lacrosse at Syracuse University, will finish the season for Syracuse and then join the New York NLL team full-time beginning in June. In the interim he will support the team’s ongoing community outreach efforts as they work to connect with local lacrosse teams and organizations to provide support, garner feedback and establish lasting partnerships. Thorpe will maintain his position as Head Coach of the US Lacrosse Indoor Box Lacrosse World Team concurrent with his new role.
“I would first like to thank Gary and the whole team at GF Sports for their trust and confidence in me. I felt an instant connection the first time we met and their vision for this franchise, both short-term and long-term, aligns perfectly with mine,” said Thorpe. “New York has a long and rooted history of lacrosse that we will look to build on. The people of New York deserve a team that they can be proud of and one that not only will have success on the field but that is truly part of the community. The passion that so many New Yorkers have will help fuel our team and certainly be part of our team DNA. I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity and look forward to the quest that lies in front of us.”
Thorpe’s vast experience as a player, coach and general manager spans professional, collegiate, junior level and international box and field lacrosse. Since 2010, he has coached the women’s lacrosse team at Syracuse alongside Head Coach Gary Gait, helping the Orange to reach the NCAA semifinal round six times, including two championship game appearances. In 2017, US Lacrosse named Thorpe the head coach of the U.S. Men’s Indoor team that will compete at the 2019 Federation of Lacrosse Men’s Indoor World Championships in British Columbia. Throughout his career as a Head Coach, he has led the Hamilton Nationals to the MLL championship game (2011), the Six Nations Arrows of the Ontario Junior A league to the Minto Cup title (2007) and the Long Island Sound to the UWLX championship (2017) following an undefeated season. As an Assistant Coach, he helped the Rochester Rattlers win a Major League Lacrosse (MLL) championship (2008) and the Six Nations Arrows win the Minto Cup (2014).
Thorpe is a Syracuse graduate who was a captain and All-American for the 1993 national championship team and went on to a successful professional playing career. Thorpe played for 15 seasons (1995 – 2010) in the NLL, all for the Rochester Knighthawks, where he served as team captain for the team’s NLL championships in 1997 and 2007. He eventually became the league’s first general manager/player as he simultaneously held duties on and off the floor from 2008 to 2009. To this day he holds the record for the most NLL games played by an American. In addition to his professional indoor experience, Thorpe spent six seasons (2001 – 2006) competing for the Rochester Rattlers of MLL, serving as a team captain and helping lead the team to the league semifinals in three seasons. Thorpe served as a captain for the 2007 U.S. team at the FIL World Championship that won a bronze medal and has represented the country at the Heritage Cup and Bowhunter Cup over the years. He helped the U.S. defeat Canada to win the Heritage Cup in 2002 and beat the Iroquois Nationals to win the Bowhunter Cup in 2010.
Among his many accolades, Thorpe has been inducted into the US Lacrosse Greater Rochester Chapter Hall of Fame, the Jordan Elbridge High School Hall of Fame, the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame and the Rochester Knighthawks Hall of Fame.
For more information on the New York NLL franchise, visit www.nllnewyork.com.
About GF Sports
GF Sports is a live events and sports media entertainment company created by New York-based private equity firm GF Capital Management & Advisors, LLC. Formed in July 2015, GF Sports owns two of the ATP World Tour’s longest running American tournaments, the New York Open and the BB&T Atlanta Open, as well as the New York National Lacrosse League expansion team. In addition, GF Sports is the major shareholder in EEM World, a global leader in equestrian event production that owns and operates the Longines Masters Series. GF Sports also incubates new and emerging sport concepts utilizing its global expertise and network to help develop niche sports. Such concepts include Wolf Pack Ninjas, which operates ninja-focused events globally. Veteran sport, media and entertainment executive Hank Ratner is a co-investor with GF Capital across the company’s various sports properties.
GF Capital makes control-oriented, growth capital investments in branded consumer product and media companies, and its investments have included a number of sports and live entertainment companies. These include Repucom, a global leader in sports measurement, evaluation and intelligence, which was sold to Nielsen in 2016 and Blue Man Group, the world-renowned entertainment company which was sold to Cirque du Soleil in 2017.
For additional information, please visit www.gfcap.com.
About the National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional indoor lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 11 franchises across the United States and Canada: Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, New England Black Wolves, Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock and Vancouver Stealth. The 2017-18 NLL season, commemorating the League’s 32nd year, began December 8th during #FaceOffWknd. For more information, visit NLL.com and find the NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.