BOSTON – August 8, 2018 – The David Huntley Man of the Year Award is a new Major League Lacrosse (MLL) award for 2018 that will be presented during the second annual MLL Honors award ceremony. Named in honor of David Huntley, the former MLL coach for the Atlanta Blaze, Hamilton Nationals, Toronto Nationals, and Chesapeake Bayhawks, who passed away in December 2017, the award will be presented to the lacrosse athlete who has demonstrated, “sportsmanship and professionalism that are beyond reproach” and who “makes selfless, meaningful contributions to Major League Lacrosse, the game of lacrosse, and to his community.”
Boston’s Mitch Belisle faced several Huntley-coached teams during his MLL career and demonstrates the character Huntley embodied. “Mitch has exemplified everything you would want in a professional athlete and man during his 12 years in Major League Lacrosse,” said Cannons head coach Sean Quirk. “His play on the field speaks volumes during his career, but more importantly, what he has done through off-field involvement with charities, growing the game of lacrosse and leading by example to the next generation of lacrosse players is what is so special about Mitch.” Belisle also donated the last paycheck of his MLL career to the Boston Cannons Cancer Fund.
Kevin Crowley, who played for Huntley as a member of Team Canada in the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships, just completed his eighth season in MLL, the last three with the Charlotte Hounds. “Kevin Crowley is a consummate professional. He is a leader in the locker room, a mentor to the younger players and an ambassador of the game. He loves to play the game and it’s evident whenever he steps on the field. His commitment to both teach and grow the game nationally and internationally is well known,” said Hounds head coach Jim Stagnitta. “It has truly been an honor to work with Kevin. He has my utmost respect as well as that of his teammates and competitors.”
Chesapeake Bayhawks’ nominee and goaltender Brian Phipps was a rival of Huntley’s son, Kevin. Phipps played at Maryland while Kevin played for his father’s alma mater, Johns Hopkins. A testament to his value of others, no Bayhawks player was more vocal after the tragic shootings in Annapolis than Phipps. He walked to the game on July 2, which was just days after the shooting, just to take in the feel of the city and the community’s “Annapolis Strong” mentality. Chesapeake head coach, Dave Cottle, who also coached Phipps at Maryland, commented on the goaltender’s off-field commitment. “Brian has made an extremely large contribution to the Annapolis community. As a high school coach and teacher, Brian is working with young people. He spends countless hours working with our young players and is one of the finest ambassadors our organization has ever had.”
Dallas goaltender, John Galloway, also is the head lacrosse coach at Jacksonville (FL) University. He is known to be an incredible leader and role model not only for the Rattlers and Dolphins but for the league and the sport of lacrosse as well. “Guys want to play with him and be around him. He is the epitome of professionalism, sportsmanship, commitment to his teammates, our country and the greater good. Anyone who knows John Galloway knows that he is the very best of what lacrosse represents. I can provide countless examples during the past decade where John has displayed the utmost sportsmanship, professionalism, leadership and selflessness. He is the best,” said Rattlers head coach Bill Warder.
Midfielder Josh Hawkins has dedicated his efforts to the Denver community since his acquisition from Boston in Oct. 2017. “Josh represents the very best qualities of a MLL athlete. Highly skilled and a tremendous competitor, he leads the Denver Outlaws on the field and in the locker room. More importantly, he devotes countless hours to community service efforts, representing the Outlaws and MLL in schools, hospitals and community centers. In a league full of outstanding young men, Josh stands tall among the MLL’s very best,” said Outlaws head coach BJ O’Hara. Hawkins helped a group of 16 kids, ranging in age from 7-12, with their homework and then arranged an impromptu soccer match. A scheduled one-hour visit at the Denver Rescue Mission turned into three. Visits to Children’s Hospital Colorado and fundraising alongside other celebrities at Adam’s Camp, a non-profit that provides support to children and young adults with special needs, helped raise $70,000.
Steven Brooks is a veteran midfielder who was acquired by the Launch in July 2014. He has made a positive impact since his arrival in Boca Raton. “Steven is a first-class professional in all aspects. He is one of the older players in the league but he still brings a youthful energy every day,” said Launch head coach Tom Mariano. “He wants his teammates, the organization and MLL to succeed before his own personal achievements. At this point in his career, he is truly playing for his teammates and the Florida Launch. He plays the game the right way and is one of the best ambassadors to represent the MLL.” Brooks never misses an opportunity to make a fan’s day and is phenomenal with fan engagement.
Will Manny, the six-year veteran attackman for the New York Lizards and the 2018 MLL All-Star Game MVP served as a graduate assistant at Wagner College for two seasons before joining the new program at the University of Utah with Ohio’s Marcus Holman and Atlanta’s Adam Ghitelman. Manny is a leader, according to Lizards head coach Joe Spallina. “I believe Will Manny epitomizes everything this award should represent. He is an incredible ambassador for the sport but more importantly is a tremendous teammate who takes the time to connect with every person on the team from trainers to practice squad players to starters,” said Spallina. “He is someone who brings an unparalleled work ethic and sincerity to the sport that is not commonplace! His play speaks for itself — but the teammate and person he is — towers over his incredible talent. Will Manny is what this award is all about.”