Welcome to NLL.com’s new weekly feature, Where Are They Now? Every week we will be catching up with former NLL players to hear what they are up to. If you want to hear from any former players, send us a tweet @NLL
First up is Jamie Hanford, former Defenseman with the Philadelphia Wings (1999-2001), New Jersey Storm (2002), Colorado Mammoth (2003-2007), New York Titans (2008), and Rochester Knighthawks (2009).
Hanford ranks third all-time in regular season face-off wins (2,091). He holds the Mammoth record for most regular season face-off wins (1,301) and is first in Mammoth history in playoff face-off wins (133). Hanford won two championships with Philadelphia (2001) and Colorado (2006).
NLL.com: What are you up to these days?
Hanford: I live in Darien, CT and am married with two boys, ages 9 and 7.
I own two companies, Dye Hard Sublimation, a printing company, and I’m one of three owners of a club lacrosse program called Eclipse Lacrosse Club in Fairfield County. We have about 400 kids in our program and 17 teams, with kids from third grade to their junior year of high school. We play year-round.
I’m also in my second year as the defensive coordinator with the Atlanta Blaze in the MLL.
NLL.com: What does being a part-owner of a Lacrosse Club entail?
Hanford: We put together programming and I coach. We manage 17 teams and we also help with recruiting and helping kids get college lacrosse scholarships.
NLL.com: What is your most fond memory of playing in the NLL?
Hanford: I have a lot of good memories. Hanging out with my teammates, winning championships. Every year I had a unique special bond with my teams. My time with Philadelphia and wining the championship my third year was a special moment. Also, playing in Colorado was an all-time high in my career because of the passionate fan base and winning the Cup in ’06 and playing in front of 18,000 + fans every home game – it was a very unique opportunity in the league. I was very fortunate in my career to play for two great franchises in Colorado and Philadelphia.
Our first exhibition game in Colorado, we played against my former team, the Wings, at 10 p.m. after an Avalanche game. There were literally 12,000 people watching our exhibition game in Colorado and I knew it was something special. From the day I was out there, it was 17,000 – 18,000 fans every game. A lot of places don’t get that many people for games. You felt special as a player.
NLL.com: Do you still keep in touch with any of your teammates and if so, which one (s)?
Hanford: All of them. Jay Jalbert is one of my best friends and he introduced me to my wife.
Nick Carlson, Patty Coyle, Gavin Prout, Gary Gait, Tom Ethington. We had a very special team out there (in Colorado). When you win those championships, you consider those guys your best friends the rest of your life.
NLL.com: You are second all-time in face-off wins in NLL history. What was your strategy when it came to face-offs?
Hanford: My strategy was I knew I was gonna win every single time. When I first came in the league I wasn’t the face-off guy so much but in college I did. I started doing it more in year two and year three. I played in Philly with Pete Jacobs (early in my career) who also faced off. But in New Jersey and Colorado I was the main guy. I had phenomenal teammates so I just knew either I was gonna get it or get it to my teammates.
NLL.com: You won the NLL Cup twice, once with Philadelphia in 2001 and a second time with Colorado in 2006. Which one of those do you savoir the most?
Hanford: It’s hard to say. That’s a tough question. 2001 was my first championship at a high level. So, that was special and winning (the NLL Finals) in Toronto was super special because that was a tough place to play.
I’d say my favorite was with Colorado, just with how we had to go into Buffalo (in the NLL Finals), and that we won three in a row against Calgary (the last two games of the regular season and in the Division Semifinal).
Both championship games we owned and dominated and I attribute that to my teammates how we ran through a wall for each other. I’d say brining the championship to Colorado was my favorite just because the fan base there was unbelievable.
NLL.com: When you saw your face-off record was broken, what was your reaction?
Hanford: I didn’t really have one. Records are made to be broken. It doesn’t really matter to me one bit. You don’t play games for stats. You play for championships.
NLL.com: If there was a zombie apocalypse and you could only bring three things to a deserted island, what would you bring and why?
Hanford: My 2006 Colorado Mammoth teammates, my 2001 Philadelphia Wings teammates and Steve Govett.
NLL.com: If you could have dinner with any three people (alive or dead), who would they be?
Hanford: I’d say Ken Baumgartner, Wayne Gretzky, and my Mom.