Imagine how much more Gordy Ohstrom would have contributed to the game of lacrosse had he not passed away in 1977 at the age of 44. Ohstrom made lacrosse into the hottest sport in Central New York and he was the driving force in the formation of the Onondaga County Lacrosse League.
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 18 years he compiled a grid record of 86-39-9. Included were a half a dozen league titles, including the 1966 Southern Division title.
But football was not Ohstrom’s only shining arena. It was lacrosse that 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.
Winning games and championships were certainly enjoyable for Ohstrom, but his real legacy was helping the sport grow. Much 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.
Ohstrom coached several star lacrosse players including 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.
1959: Became physical education teacher and coach football at LaFayette High School 1968: Named Central New York Coach of the Year and again in 1976
1974: Named Onondaga High School League Football Coach of the Year
1975: Honored by United States Lacrosse Coaches Century Club for varsity coaches who have won more than 100 lacrosse games
1977: LaFayette honored Ohstrom by naming its athletic field after him
Inducted into the Upstate New York Chapter of the Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame