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Jack Kaley Is Remembered by Lacrosse Community

Jack Kaley, an inductee of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and winner of four NCAA Division II men’s lacrosse titles at NYIT, died of cancer Thursday on Long Island. He was 83.

In his 50 years of coaching lacrosse, Jack Kaley crossed paths with many others in the lacrosse community. Tributes to the coach poured in on social media from a wide array of teams, coaches, players, and more who came across Kaley at one point or another.

“At every level and with every team he coached, Jack developed a special bond with athletes,” Rich Donovan, who played for Jack Kaley and coached with him on the German national team, said during a tribute in 2018. “The enthusiasm he brings to the game is what he is always about.”

Jack Kaley began his coaching career in 1964 at Lynbrook High School on Long Island. In 1968, he moved to East Meadow and spent 17 years there with a 227-90 record. He won three-straight Long Island Championships from 1971 to 1973 at the school.

“I wish I could go to work with the same passion he did,” Neil Koenig, a 1968 graduate of East Meadow who played for Kaley, told Michael Ganci of in 2011. “Jack helped kids into college. He got me a full tuition scholarship to Fairleigh Dickinson. It’s really what these coaches for the kids outside the game. He just didn’t give up.”

Kaley’s next move was to college as an assistant at St. John’s, then he took his first college head coaching job at New York Tech in 1993. Over the next 17 years, Jack Kaley would build and maintain a powerhouse in NCAA Division II men’s lacrosse. By the time he retired from his position in 2009, Kaley had amassed an 185-33 (.849) mark, setting the record for all-time wins that’s since been surpassed only once, five conference championships, eight NCAA Tournaments, six appearances in the national championship game, and four victories in the ultimate game (1997, 2003, 2005, 2008).

“We called him ‘Hawk,'” Richard Woerner, who played for Kaley at East Meadow, said to Ganci in 2011. “The guy didn’t have the best vision at all, but he would see if you made a mistake from across the field. He would never call anyone out, but he demanded the absolute best from everybody.”

After retiring from NYIT, Jack Kaley kept coaching lacrosse with the German national team and Igloo Lacrosse, a club in Syosset, New York.

“As long as I can keep coaching, I will,” Kaley told Ganci in 2011.

Now for the other lacrosse news from the week of Aug. 17-23, 2021.

Last Week in Lacrosse

The PLL quarterfinals took place in Utah, with the Chaos upsetting the Archers, Atlas marching on over Cannons, and the Whipsnakes breaking Redwoods hearts for the third-straight year.

Nakeie Montgomery of Duke men’s lacrosse is now also of Duke football. With his fifth year of eligibility, the two-time USILA All-American will suit up for the Blue Devils’ football team this fall ahead of the 2022 lacrosse campaign.

Denison men’s lacrosse added two new assistants to its staff: Ryan Rhode and Maiah Bartlett. Bartlett is now considered to have one of the biggest men’s college lacrosse coaching jobs ever held by a woman.

West Genesee High School named Eric Burns as its new varsity boys lacrosse head coach and Shannon Musak as its next varsity girls lacrosse head coach, both successful alums of the school.

On Sept. 16, the KHSAA will determine if it will officially sanction boys and girls lacrosse for the 2022 season. If sanctioned, it would greatly transform lacrosse in Kentucky.

A large alligator got caught in a lacrosse net in Florida, and wacky hijinks ensued.

North Shore Indians played their final game at Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre in North Vancouver in front of a sell-out crowd, ending the decades the team has played in the venue. The Harry Jerome rec centre will be demolished in December to make way for a new $181-million replacement.

A celebration of life for John Zulberti has been scheduled for Aug. 28 at 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Tyrol Club in Solvay.

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