BOSTON (December 19, 2017) – Hall of Fame coach Dave Huntley, one of the most influential ambassadors for lacrosse in two countries, passed away suddenly on Monday at age 60.
"I am sorry to announce that long-time MLL coach Dave Huntley has passed away,” MLL Commissioner David Gross said. “The entire lacrosse community has lost a distinguished coach and an exceptional man. Major League Lacrosse would like to pass along our sincerest condolences to the Huntley family and the entire Atlanta Blaze organization."
A native of Toronto, Ontario Huntley is a member of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame as well as the United States Lacrosse Hall of Fame and National U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame. He coached at every level of lacrosse and guided two different MLL franchises in their inaugural seasons.
Huntley took over as head coach of the Atlanta Blaze on July 21, 2016 and coached them for the final four games of the 2016 season and all of 2017. He compiled a 7-11 record with the Blaze after taking over the expansion team in the middle of its inaugural season. Huntley oversaw the development of key players for Atlanta such as Kevin Rice, who broke out with 58 points in nine games for the Blaze in 2016.
Huntley’s career as a head coach in MLL started in his hometown when he was named the first head coach of the Toronto Nationals in 2009. He led that team to a Steinfeld Trophy win in its first season with a roster that included John Grant Jr., Joe Walters and Brodie Merrill. Prior to taking over the Nationals job, Huntley had served as an assistant with the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
As a player, Huntley won consecutive national championships with Johns Hopkins in 1978 and 1979. He was a three-time All-American for the Blue Jays and was named the top midfielder in the country as a senior. In 2010, he was inducted into the Johns Hopkins University Athletic Hall of Fame.
His son, Kevin, was named the 2008 Rookie of the Year in MLL after a 35-point season with the Los Angeles Riptide. Like his father, he starred at Johns Hopkins and also won two national championships there.