Friday, February 15, 2013

Jon Hunt Named NEILA Man of the Year

BA Lacrosse Head Coach to receive Walter Alessi Man of the Year Award

NORTH BRIDGTON, ME – Jon Hunt, Bridgton Academy’s Head Lacrosse Coach, was named the recipient of the Walter Alessi Man of the Year award by the NEILA (New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association). Hunt, who notched a 4-1 record in his first autumn as BA’s Head Lacrosse Coach, was a member of NEILA as the Head Coach of the University of New England Lacrosse team for several years before coming to BA in the summer of 2012.

The Walter Alessi Man of the Year award is given every year to a member of the New England lacrosse community who contributes to lacrosse in the region, as well as someone who plays an instrumental role in the development of the NEILA. This year, Hunt stepped from the NEILA as he took over the reins of a BA Lacrosse program that had flourished for the last several years under Coach Garrett Bamann (BA ’00).

In addition to his service as Treasurer for NEILA, Hunt previously served on the NCAA Rules Committee for lacrosse, helping to institute several important, sweeping changes, including changes to the shot clock, substitution and faceoff changes as well. The committee is made up of NCAA Division I, II and III coaches and Athletic Directors.

The award is named after longtime M.I.T. Head Lacrosse Coach Walter Alessi, who began his coaching career at M.I.T. in 1975, and is one of the founding fathers of New England Lacrosse. When contacted Hunt said, “It’s very humbling. To have the best coaches in the country recognizing me for something like this… it is probably one of the proudest moment of my head coaching career.”
Bridgton Head Lacrosse Coach Jon Hunt
 BA Athletic Director Joe Sawicki commented, “We are tremendously honored that Jon Hunt received this award.  It just proves to us that we made an excellent choice as Head Lacrosse Coach. This honor shows how committed Jon is to whatever he does, and it is frankly no surprise that he was chosen for this award. I think that you would find that all the other New England collegiate lacrosse coaches would share the same sentiment. He has shown the same initiative and drive in his short time here at BA.”

One of Hunt’s mentors, Rob Quinn, Athletic Director at Berwick Academy and former Head Lacrosse Coach at Colby College, said, “Jon was my assistant at Colby College for three years… and during that time Jon displayed a great work ethic and had a terrific rapport with the student-athletes and parents. He brought energy and enthusiasm to every practice and game.” He went on to say that it “is fitting” that Hunt “has earned this award; he is worthy and he has certainly earned the respect and admiration of his coaching colleagues in New England and at the National level.”

Another of Hunt’s mentors was Quinnipiac Head Coach Eric Fekete, under whom Hunt spent several years as an assistant. Fekete recalls Hunt’s “accomplishments and development as a coach and mentor of men over the last 12 years”, and felt his “role and commitment to New England Lacrosse Community should be recognized.”

The award presentation ceremony is scheduled for May 31 at Harvard Stadium at Harvard University, during the annual NEILA East/West Lacrosse All-Star Game.

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