NATS' COACH REGY THORPE TO GO INTO HALL OF FAME
12/13/11 12:00 AM
(Hamilton, December 13)… Hamilton Nationals Head Coach Regy Thorpe has been named one of the two members of the Rochester Knighthawks’ 2012 Hall of Fame Class. Thorpe and Pat Cougevan will be inducted on Saturday, February 18th.
Thorpe served as one of the team’s most reliable defensemen and also worked behind the scenes as the team’s general manager for a season. It’s on the field, however, where Thorpe, 40, made a name for himself over 15 seasons. The Elbridge, NY, native spent his entire career in Rochester, where he stands as the team’s all-time leader in games played (193), loose balls (966) and penalty minutes (385).
“When I think of the Hall of Fame, I think about the history and tradition of this franchise. The Knighthawks have been part of my family for a lot of years,” said Thorpe. “I read the names of the people in the Hall of Fame that I played with and I am humbled. I had a passion for those teams and am proud to have played here my entire career.”
According to former Knighthawks GM and current Nationals General Manager Jody Gage, Thorpe will go down in team history as one of the best ever.
“Regy was an original Knighthawk, a true professional and one of the best all-time defensemen. He brought it every night. I don’t know if anyone hit harder than Regy,” said Gage. “He also knew the game and was a true leader.”
Thorpe was an original Knighthawk, joining the team in 1995 out of Syracuse University. In 2008, he became the first player to also serve as a team’s general manager. Owner Curt Styres named Thorpe to the post in his first season as the team’s owner. Thorpe has seen the team return to its elite status over the past three seasons under Styres’ leadership.
“I am really excited what Curt (Styres) and the organization has done for the Knighthawks family,” said Thorpe. “I am looking forward to this season and the future of the Knighthawks.”
While in Rochester, Thorpe guided the Knighthawks to six title games and 13 playoff berths in 15 seasons. More importantly, Thorpe stands as the only player in team history to play for both championship teams: 1997 and 2007. In 2005, the defensive stalwart was also named to the Knighthawks’ All-Time Team.
Thorpe arrived in Rochester in 1994 after playing his college lacrosse at nearby Syracuse University (1992-93). He was one of the co-captains on the 1993 team that captured the Division I National Championship.
Knighthawks Hall of Famer Randy Mearns was there when Thorpe made the transition from the field game to the box game. Mearns and Thorpe would spend the next seven seasons together in Rochester.
"When he came in he was a monster. You look back and he was the anchor of our defense," said Mearns. "He always got matched up against the opposing team's best offensive threats. He covered guys like Gary Gait, John Tavares, Paul Gait and Colin Doyle. He was a great team leader, brought 100 percent to the table and was pretty level headed. He had that winning mantra after being at Syracuse and brought that to the team."
Thorpe made the transition to professional head coach in 2011 and led the Nationals to a 7-5 record, which was good enough for second-place tie with the Denver Outlaws. Hamilton then knocked off the Outlaws to advance to the MLL title game. In the Finals, the Nationals fell one goal shy to the Cannons, 10-9.
The Nationals will open the 2012 season against Denver on Saturday, May 5th at INVESCO Field at Mile High. The second contest features a rematch of the MLL Finals with Hamilton playing the Boston Cannons at Harvard Stadium on Saturday, May 12th.
Hamilton makes its home debut on Friday, May 18th with an 11:00 a.m. contest against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at Ron Joyce Stadium at McMaster University. For ticket information, contact the Nationals Ticket Office at (905) 768-2225.