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.@PhEliteLB3 founder Banks named head coach of Atlanta Blaze

Wednesday, 17th January 2018

Categories Boy's/Men's, Pro  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/17/18
From Press Release

The Atlanta Blaze has named Phillie Elite/LB3 founder and former MLL player Liam Banks the third head coach in the history of the franchise, replacing the late Dave Huntley.

Banks, 38, played in 52 MLL games between 2004 and 2009, compiling 74 goals, 65 assists, 140 points and 58 groundballs in 52 total games. Since retiring, he has been influential in growing the sport in the Atlanta area by helping facilitate the MLL Championship Games played at Fifth Third Bank Stadium from 2014 to 2016 and acting as president of Thunder LB3 Lacrosse, an elite club lacrosse program in Georgia.

“This is an incredible opportunity for me to challenge myself professionally at the highest level of coaching with many of the best players in the world,” Banks said.

Banks played collegiately at Syracuse, helping the Orange to four straight NCAA Final Four appearances and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding player in 2000. He scored six goals in the NCAA title game against Princeton that year, the most goals in a championship game in program history.

“Our top two objectives for the 2018 MLL season are to compete for the Steinfeld Trophy and to build the Blaze fan base throughout Georgia,” said Jim Pfeifer, president of the Blaze, “and Liam’s extensive lacrosse knowledge, experience and familiarity of the Atlanta market and boundless energy and drive make him the perfect head coach to lead the Blaze.”

Atlanta finished the 2017 season with a 6-8 record, two games behind Rochester and Florida for the final playoff spot. Attackman Kevin Rice led the team in points last year with 47 and was one of five All-Star Game selections, joining Scott Ratliff, Matt Mackrides, James Pannell and Adam Ghitelman.

Banks played his only years of MLL lacrosse for the Philadelphia Barrage in the early 2000s. His current Atlanta roster features fotmer Malvern Prep and Penn State standout Matt Mackrides, co-founder of Main Line Sports Center. Banks said his Philly ties have always influenced him.

“I got my introduction to professional lacrosse at Villanova Stadium (with the Barrage) and the MLL inspired me and inspired a lot of kids in Philly like (current Rochester Rattlers standout and Lower Merion grad) Jordan Wolf,” said Banks in an interview 2 years ago when he assumed the role of Atlanta Blaze Vice President.


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