Gordy Ohstrom

Inducted in 2004

Born: 1933 in Tonawanda NY

Died: June 29th, 1977

Imagine, if you will, how much more Gordy Ohstrom would have given to the game of lacrosse had he not passed away in 1977 at the very young age of 44. You don’t have to use your imagination to learn what this Tonawanda native did accomplish in his far too short lifetime. Gordy Ohstrom made lacrosse in Central New York what it is today, the hottest sport there is. And it’s all in the record books.

Ohstrom was a graduate of Miami of Ohio University and earned his Master’s in Physical Education from Syracuse University. His first job began in 1959 when he signed on to teach physical education and coach football at LaFayette High School. For eighteen years he complied a grid record of 86 wins, 39 losses and 9 ties. Included were a half a dozen league titles, including the 1966 Southern Division title. Gordy was named the 1974 Onondaga High School League Football Coach of the Year.

But football was not Gordy’s only shinning arena. It was lacrosse the captured his attention and his passion. As a coach, his record is impeccable: 153-31-1, including nine County League championships (in nine years), four Section III titles, and an incredible win streak of 41 straight games from 1967 to 1969. No wonder he was named Central New York Coach of the Year in 1968 and then again in 1976, a year before he died.

Wining games and championships were certainly enjoyable for Gordy, but his real kicks came from making the sport grow. Nearly every spare hour of his time was spent promoting lacrosse to high school and college athletic directors, convincing them that the game of lacrosse offers so much for players, coaches, schools and communities. His enthusiasm made him a highly successful pitchman, and nearly every school in our area has a successful lacrosse program because of Gordy’s labor of love. Gordy was the driving force in the formation of the Onondaga County Lacrosse League.

Among Gordy’s lacrosse alumni are several men who went on to star at the collegiate level. They include: Travis Cook, Ron and Sid Hill, Ron Doctor, Mike Cornelius, Freeman Bucktooth, Woody Johnson, Dave Waterman, Leo Nolan, Bob Storrier, John Porter, Bob Shaw, Alfie Jacques, Dave Baldwin, Tom Scofield and Oliver Hill.

  • 1975 - Honored by United States Lacrosse Coaches Centry Club for varsity coaches who have won more than 100 lacrosse games.

Gordy left us way too early in 1977, but he left us a legacy of love for a sport. The sport of lacrosse is a great one, thanks to the dedication of Gordy Ohstrom. In 1977, LaFayette High School honored Ohstrom by naming its new athletic field in his name.

  • Inducted into the Upstate New York Chapter of the Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame