Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 9/18/21
Four Philly legends will be honored today as Founder’s Award winners at the Eastern Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame Induction Celebration at United Sports in Downingtown.
The Founder’s Award recognizes persons “for significant and enduring contributions to the growth and development of lacrosse in Pennsylvania.”
Girls’ Game Honorees:
Diane Faison –
As a Ridley High School varsity player, Diane Faison fell in love with lacrosse and continued to play as a member of the Philadelphia Women’s Lacrosse Association club teams for 10 years. After her playing days, Faison began what would be her significant and enduring contributions to Philadelphia’s area youth lacrosse; a dedication that spans 4 decades.
She became an official in 1974 and for 14 years officiated at all levels of the game. Faison then focused on developing players by starting a program at the middle school level at Interboro. After running that program for 8 years she became Interboro High School’s Head Coach, winning 12 DelVal League titles with six consecutive undefeated seasons and several team sportsmanship awards. Faison was the Founder/Director of the Interboro girls’ and boys’ youth club program for close to 20 years. In 1996 she helped to establish PAGLA, an organization that brought area youth lacrosse programs together. Faison also had been the Interboro field hockey coach for 33 years.
The Philadelphia women’s club lacrosse program will forever be indebted to Alan Geiger. In 1988, the Philadelphia Women’s Lacrosse Association needed a President and Alan stepped up. He continued in the role for 12 years. Under his leadership the PWLA hosted the USWLA National Lacrosse Tournament, the premiere women’s lacrosse event of the time, that brought both club and high school players from around the country to the culminating event of the club season. It was a major undertaking to set up this yearly Memorial Day weekend event and each USWLA region took a turn hosting. Twice during his presidency Alan was able to put together a tournament committee, secure Germantown Academy as a site, and gather the other needed resources to put together an unforgettable weekend of lacrosse. The tournament in 1997 was special in that for the first time it showcased youth programs from various association’s
recreation programs as a means of introducing these young players to what their futures could be.
While still serving Philadelphia, Alan continued to give of his time to women’s lacrosse by taking on the Vice President position of the USWLA and was the Director of the US Women’s National Team from 1990 until 1997. In 2002, he and his wife, Kathleen, started the Haverford Township Girls’ Lacrosse program and coached these young female athletes for ten years, stepping away from the program they built in 2012. He also hosted two Club National Tournaments at Germantown Academy.
Boys’ Game Honorees
Bruce Garcia was a pioneer in building lacrosse in Central Bucks. He coached with the founder of the Warrington Lacrosse Youth lacrosse team, Frank Lahockey for 2 years in the mid-1990s. he then coached a club team in 1996 that had both Central Bucks East, West and South players for one year with Walt Szambelak. Garcia founded the Central Bucks East club team in 1998 and in 1998 he helped found Central Bucks Athletic Association youth lacrosse.
In 2000, along with a group of very dedicated parents, they petitioned the Central Bucks school board to bring in boys’ lacrosse into the high school as a varsity sport and in 2001 that became a reality. Garcia remains the only head coach at CB East where he has won 289 games and 14 Suburban One championships. In 2000 he became a part of the Bucks Select lacrosse club program, the first travel team in Bucks County. He remains involved as Vice President and Treasurer on the Board of Directors. He credits the CB East lacrosse community for helping his family deal with the loss of his youngest son Brian, who passed away March 7, 2017 in his senior year of college.
Mike Bauer moved to West Chester in 1985 and soon began to learn about the sport of lacrosse through his son, Drew, who began playing in 3rd grade. Mike Bauer never coached, but began to volunteer in various capacities until around 1997 assumed the role of league director. he remained in that role until the end of the 2019 season.
During 22+ years as director, Bauer saw the organization grow exponentially from 150-200 boys to now over thousands of boys and girls with year round programs.
In 1995 the WCLA joined the West Chester Area Sports Association as a founding member. As a result, the association was able to build a lighted artificial turf field, Kelly Field. In 1998 Bauer was a founding WCLA member of the Chester County Lacrosse Association. He also served for over 10 years as manager of the Chester County all stars in the Keystone Games.