One-of-a-Kind John Pirro to Be Inducted into Hall of Fame Posthumously

On Saturday evening at the Grand Lodge in Cockeysville, Md., John Pirro will be inducted posthumously into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a truly great player.

Following an All-America prep career at Huntington (N.Y.) High School, Pirro became a three-time, first-team collegiate All-American at Roanoke (Va.) College. Pirro died on August 13, 2013, following a 16-year battle with Huntington's disease, a rare neuro-muscular disorder. He was 57 years old. He was buried with dirt from the school’s field.

“There are two statues on the campus,” said Paul Griffin, Pirro’s coach at Roanoke. “One is the religious leader, Martin Luther, and the other is John Pirro. So, I think that should tell people about what an important impact he had on not just the lacrosse program, not just his teammates, but the college.

“As great of a player as he was, he was one of the best teammates I’ve ever witnessed because he would always work hard at bringing out the best in his teammates and establishing their confidence and their self-esteem.”

Additionally, he was twice selected as the national Division II/III defenseman of the year, winning the honor in 1976 and 1977. Pirro was chosen to play in the 1977 North-South All-Star Game.

“While many people could dislodge the ball from someone, John, I’ve never seen anyone like him,” Griffin said. “He would take the stick and dislodge the whole stick of his attackman.”

Following his collegiate career, Pirro played club lacrosse as a member of the Long Island Athletic Club and was recognized as the USCLA’s defenseman of the year in 1978.

“He played really well all the time,” Griffin said. “The big moments were not too much for him. He thrived on rising to the occasion in the biggest of challenges as a defenseman.”

He has been previously inducted into the USA Lacrosse Long Island Metro Chapter Hall of Fame (1995) and the USA Lacrosse Charlottesville Chapter Hall of Fame (1997) and became the first lacrosse player inducted into the Roanoke College Hall of Fame in 1987.

If you’d like to attend the induction ceremony, tickets can be purchased here.


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