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Philadelphia Lacrosse Association names Leahy, D’Ignazio as new Hall of Fame Selection Committee Chairs

Tuesday, 16th August 2022

Categories Boy's/Men's, Girl's/Women's, Posted 8/16/22
From Press Release

The Philadelphia Lacrosse Association is pleased to announce that Bill Leahy and Cathy D’Ignazio have been named to chair the Men’s and Women’s Selection Committees, respectively, for the Eastern Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Both Leahy and D’Ignazio are members of the PLA Chapter’s Hall of Fame and have been members of the PLA HOF Selection Committees for years.

Leahy, a Baltimore native, was inducted as a “Truly Great Coach” in 2013. He played lacrosse at the collegiate level at Washington College and later at Loyola. He played professionally, winning several championships as a member of the Philadelphia Wings. Leahy’s coaching career began at LaSalle College High School, where he started the boys’ lacrosse program in 1992 and over time accumulated 512 wins and 115 losses.

Under his tenure, LaSalle became a nationally ranked program and earned multiple Keystone Cup and PIAA Boys’ State Championships. Leahy served as the Assistant GM for the US Lacrosse 2016 U19 gold medal team. He now serves as the Director of Coaching for NXT Sports.

“Bill brings years of service, experience, and knowledge of lacrosse to our committee, having played, and coached at the highest levels. We welcome his expertise and insight as our new committee chair, which solicits and reviews nominations of candidates for induction into our prestigious Chapter Hall of Fame,” said Hank Resch, the outgoing Chair of the Men’s HOF Selection Committee.

D’Ignazio, a Media, native, was inducted as an “Outstanding Contributor” in 2019. She played on championship teams in high school (Penncrest) and college (Penn), receiving All-Central, All-American and All-Ivy recognitions, and was selected to play for the Team USA squad. She coached high school lacrosse at Strath Haven. But her most impactful work involved helping to form and later leading the Philadelphia Area Girls Lacrosse Association (PAGLA).

She served on the US Lacrosse Youth Council and helped organize the US Lacrosse National Youth and PAGLA Tournament Festivals. As a member of the PLA Board, she advocated for organized youth lacrosse and supported efforts to grow the game in the Philadelphia public schools. She is an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers-Camden where she teaches courses in Gender Studies and Sport History.

“We welcome Cathy’s expertise, energy and enthusiasm as our new committee chair,” said Michele Doyle, who is passing on the baton as Chair of the Women’s HOF Selection Committee. “We’re excited to have her share her understanding of the Philadelphia women’s lacrosse community as well as her organizational and motivational skills for the benefit of the committee.”

The HOF Selection Committees consists of existing Hall of Famers and other uniquely qualified individuals in the Philadelphia lacrosse community. In addition to Leahy and Resch, the Men’s Division committee includes Drew Adams, John Begier, Pat Carney, Scott Gabrielsen, Scott Growney, Chris Hupfeldt, Tom Lemieux, John McEvoy, Jeff Pettit, Tony Resch, and David Seidman. The Women’s Division Committee consists of D’Ignazio and Doyle as well Lynn Bowers, Betsy Dougherty, Diane Horsey, Kathleen Geiger and Chrissy Poplowski.

The PLA hosts the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in September every two years to honor the great players, coaches, officials, promoters, and others, both men and women, who have made significant contributions to the game in Pennsylvania and are deserving of the highest recognition. The first class to the HOF was inducted in 1998. All National HOF members with a Pennsylvania nexus were admitted to the local chapter as well. US Lacrosse requires that all candidates for the National HOF first be members of a Chapter HOF.

The PLA is now accepting nominations for the Hall of Fame Class of 2023. More information will be forthcoming on the nomination process. The incoming class will be selected by the PLA Board of Directors, based on the recommendations of the Men’s and Women’s HOF Selection Committees.
The names, pictures and lacrosse biographies of the Class of 2023 will be posted in the Hall of Fame section of the PLA and US Lacrosse websites.

Their names and pictures will also join previous Hall of Fame inductees on plaques located with other lacrosse-related memorabilia in display cases at the “Wall of Fame,” which is located at United Sports in Downingtown.