Dave Huntley: the Man Behind the Award
September 16, 2020 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) News Release
Every year one MLL player is recognized with the David Huntley Man of the Year award. This award, which was established in 2018, recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship, professionalism, and service to his community. This year's winner was the Isaiah Davis-Allen of the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
The award was established to pay homage to a man, a coach, and a player who would selflessly strive to push those around him and the sport towards greatness.
Huntley was a larger than life figure for the game of lacrosse. Growing up in Toronto, Huntley first fell in love with box lacrosse. Huntley made waves in the indoor game and eventually received a scholarship from Johns Hopkins in 1976.
Huntley was a standout at Hopkins. He played from 1976 to 1979. He earned three All-American nods, was named the nation's most outstanding midfielder in 1979, and played on three straight NCAA Championship teams. Huntley ended his college career in 1979 as JHU's all-time leading scorer from the midfield. On top of his incredible accolades, Huntley also won gold with Team Canada in 1978. Later, Kevin Huntley would join his father as the only father-son duo to win two National Championships and are the second father-son pairing to score 100 or more goals in their respective careers.
Following his incredible collegiate career, Huntley was first introduced to the professional game in 1987 with the inaugural season of the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League, coaching for the Philadelphia Wings. The Eagle Pro league would go on to become the National Lacrosse League. This introduction to professional lacrosse would eventually turn into an incredible journey that would span the next 30 years of his life.
In that first season with the Wings, due to injuries, Huntley was forced to string up his stick and join the team as a player. Huntley would score three goals in two games before returning to the sideline. Throughout his time with the Eagle Pro Box and the NLL, Huntley would work for the Baltimore Thunder, Pittsburgh Crossefire, Washington Power and Colorado Mammoth in various capacities.
In the field game, Huntley got his start as the assistant coach for Loyola College of Maryland, MLL's Bayhawks, and Team Canada. For the 2009 MLL season, Huntley would receive his first professional head coaching job. Huntley was named the head coach of the Toronto Nationals, winning an MLL Championship in his debut 2009 season after a 10-9 win over the Denver Outlaws.
After stepping down from the Nationals the following year, Huntley served as offensive coordinator at Calvert Hall College in Maryland.
He didn't stay away for long, as MLL's Atlanta Blaze recruited him to their coaching staff in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Huntley would tragically pass away from a heart attack in 2017.
Huntley had a profound effect on the growth of both the indoor and field lacrosse game. He left a mark on a number of lacrosse's biggest stars. Huntley was at one time the face of Canadian lacrosse.Â From his illustrious career on Homewood Field at Johns Hopkins to his prominent role in the development of professional lacrosse; fields across North America are filled with those that benefitted from Huntley's dedication to the game. MLL is proud to have David Huntley's name on the league's Man of the Year Award, forever recognizing the best that professional lacrosse has to offer.
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