Ed Van Tine

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A standout multisport athlete in high school, Ed Van Tine joined the Navy and saw action in Vietnam. He was twice awarded the Purple Heart, the second of which came after a near-fatal attack that wiped out his entire reconnaissance team.

After earning his degree in recreation education from Cortland State College, he moved to Hamburg in 1975 and brought his love of lacrosse to Western New York.

While working for Hamburg’s recreation department, he assembled the town’s first recreational lacrosse program. By 1976, his “Hamburg 10” team was traveling across New York State, competing with Van Tine’s up-tempo style.

That program led to Hamburg’s first varsity program. The “Godfather of Lacrosse in Western New York,” Van Tine also introduced the sport and served as a coach at Buffalo State College, Canisius College, and St. Francis High School. He founded the Western New York Lacrosse Foundation, and started the “Great Summer Shootout”, the first local lacrosse tournament, which today is the EVT Memorial Lacrosse Tournament.

He also ran youth lacrosse programs at summer camps at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy.
While his awards and accolades were many, his impact on thousands of lacrosse players throughout the region may have been his greatest accomplishment. Many of his former players, inspired by his mentorship, have taken up coaching roles themselves, perpetuating his legacy and contributing to the sport’s continued growth in Western New York.

Ed Van Tine passed away on February 24, 2012 and was laid to rest, with full military honors, in Arlington National Cemetery.