By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/29/11
The Philly lacrosse world is mourning the death of William Michael Rhine, 61, of Swarthmore, the founder and longtime director of Haven Youth Lacrosse.
Mr. Rhine died suddenly Tuesday.
He was graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and played Division I lacrosse (defenseman) for four years at Drexel University.
He later founded the Haven Youth Lacrosse program in the mid-1980s when few boys played the sport in an area where soccer dominated. The program quickly grew in several years to over 100 kids and several years later Mr. Rhine helped start the girls’ program. He either was director or co-director of the Haven Youth program until the early 2000s.
“I played club lacrosse at Dayton and had two young boys and Bill recruited me to run the fourth and fifth-grade program while he and Drew Johnson ran the sixth and seventh-graders,” said Peter King, a long time Haven lacrosse director and close friend to Mr. Rhine. “He had the ideas and the energy to start the program.”
King described Mr. Rhine as a “low-key guy” who enjoyed being out of the spotlight and included everyone in his zest for spreading lacrosse.
“Bill was one of most low keys guys I ever met,” King said. “One of the things that made him so effective is that he loved the game and was an includer, not an excluder.
“During NCAA time he would lead a caravan of cars to Rutgers or Baltimore or wherever they had the tourney. Anyone that showed up would pile in for a ride to the big stadium.
“His Suburban was laughingly known as the ‘Coaching Lab.’
“He had a tremendous sense of humor, but he was very understated. The great thing about Bill was that you wouldn’t even know he was running this program. He’d have meetings in his basement and would just set the tone for organizing the league and doing the schedule.
“He also fought and clawed to get us better field conditions and to get the high school (Strath Haven) a varsity team.”
Mr. Rhine also was an avid sailor, and enjoyed spending time on the water with the people he loved.
Mr. Rhine is survived by Ellen, his wife of 39 years; his sons Michael and Matthew both of Manayunk; his daughter Ashley (Pat) Robinson of Wilmington, DE; his brother Duane Rhine of MD; sisters Diane Amorosso of MD, Linda Ziegler of PA and Patricia Baker of OH; step-mother Beverley Rhine of PA.
Friends and relatives are invited to call at Carr Funeral Home at 935 S. Providence Rd., Wallingford, PA 19086 on Saturday, July 30th 10 AM to 12 Noon.
A short memorial service will be at 12 PM.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Chesapeake Bay FoundationAttn: Membership Dept., 6 Herndon Ave., Annapolis, MD 21403. Online Condolences: www.carrfuneralhome.net