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Banks Named Head Coach of Atlanta Blaze

January 29, 2018

Banks Atlanta Blaze

On January 15th Liam Banks ’98 was named the head coach of the Atlanta Blaze, one of nine Major League Lacrosse franchises along with the New York Lizards, Boston Cannons, and Denver Outlaws. As far as our records indicate, Banks is the first alum to become the head coach of an American professional sports team.

During his time at the Brook, Banks was a standout lacrosse player, first playing on the varsity as an 8th-grader and helping the Bears win the program’s first County Championship in 1994. The Bears repeated in his freshman year, ushering in a golden era for Stony Brook lacrosse during which the Brook earned a berth in five consecutive Suffolk finals. In 1996 and 1997 he helped lead the Bears to the Division II crown, earning All-County honors in each season. In one of his finest games for the Bears, his 4 goals and 3 assists powered the Brook past Harborfields, 14-6, in the 1997 Class B county semifinals.

Here is the press release from Kellen Flatt.

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KENNESAW, GA – Atlanta resident and Syracuse lacrosse legend, Liam Banks has signed on as Head Coach of the Atlanta Blaze, effective immediately. As one of Atlanta’s most prominent lacrosse ambassadors, Coach Banks currently serves as a Thunder LB3 Partner and President of Lacrosse Operations. Liam was the original promoter of the first professional lacrosse game in Georgia in 2013 and was active in bringing the Major League Lacrosse Championships to Atlanta in 2014 and 2015.

“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. We hope to field a team for the Atlanta Blaze that embodies the same principles we strive to cultivate each day at Thunder LB3 with the goal of bringing home a Major League Lacrosse Championship in 2018.  I love the city of Atlanta and I am humbled with the opportunity to be the Head Coach of the Atlanta Blaze,” said Liam Banks.

Atlanta Blaze Team President, Jim Pfeifer stated, “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, and Liam’s extensive lacrosse knowledge and experience, familiarity of the Atlanta market and boundless energy and drive make him the perfect head coach to lead the Blaze.”.

As a collegiate player, Banks was a two-time All-American at Syracuse and helped lead the Orange to four consecutive Final Four appearances including three Finals appearances, and a National Championship and MVP in 2000. In international competition, Banks played for the Under 19 USA World Team in 1999 and was named to the All-World Team and led Team USA to the gold medal. Banks continued his lacrosse in the Major League Lacrosse for five seasons. During his five years in the league he was a five-time Bud Light Game MVP and ranked in the Top 10 in scoring four of five years. Recently Coach Banks was inducted into the Long Island Hall of Fame for the Class of 2018.

“I have known Liam as a friend and a contributor to the sport for a long time,” said General Manager Spencer Ford. “His knowledge of the sport is unlike others in that he’s working in lacrosse 24/7. He has a great love for the game, and his ability to develop players at a young age and preparing them to play at a high level is fascinating. I’m excited to see how his IQ translates and how he can take that amazing knowledge and put it to use with our current Atlanta Blaze players. Liam lives and works in Atlanta, and the excitement around bringing a local person into the organization will help us grow in an amazing way. He knows everybody in lacrosse, has familiarity with the surrounding areas, and we have a great feeling that he’s going to be an extremely important part of bringing in the community to watch the sport, something that is needed in MLL.”

The Atlanta Blaze kick off the 2018 season on Sunday, April 22 at home at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw.

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Atlanta Blaze

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