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Mike Messere

Enshrined 1994

Mike Messere, a U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Famer, is one of the most successful and respected high school lacrosse coaches in the nation. Messere’s devotion to the sport and the student-athletes he coaches is unparalleled. Since becoming the head coach at West Genesee, Messere has built a dynasty at his alma mater, amassing more than 700 career wins, 15 state titles and a Section III-record 29 championships.


Messere’s incredible career numbers are by-product of his innate desire to make his athletes not only good lacrosse players but upstanding individuals. A no-nonsense coach who is firm but fair, Messere was a lacrosse player himself at West Genesee. He was captain in his senior year (1962) as well as a first-team all-league defenseman. Messere continued his education at Cortland State and is a member of its Hall of Fame.


Messere has influenced thousands of players during his coaching tenure and that list includes dozens of All-Americans plus NCAA coaches John Desko of Syracuse University, Dan Sheehan of Le Moyne College, Jeff Tambroni of Cornell and Steve Beville of Cortland State.



1969: Began coaching career at West Genesee High School.


1975: Founded and developed Shove Park lacrosse program.


1981-1984: Coached West Genesee High School to 91 consecutive wins, which is tied for the all-time national record


1984: Empire State Games Coach, won Gold Medal


1984: Received the Blind Men and Criers annual “John Arcaro Coaches Award” given to the high school coach who have been recognized for outstanding success in their sport.


1985: Inducted into Cortland Hall of Fame


1991: USA Today – New York (All Sports College and High School) Coach of the Year


1992: Inducted to the Upstate New York Chapter Hall of Fame


1993: Received the New York State Distinguished Service Award from the National Federation Interscholastic Coaches Association


1994: Inducted into the United States Lacrosse Hall of Fame

.2005: Received the Syracuse Post-Standard Achievement Award



Other a wards and achievements: As a varsity coach at West Genesee, Messere closed out his 36th year of coaching the Wildcats with 15 state championships. He also won a remarkable 700 games against only 46 defeats, over 30 league championships; 14 undefeated seasons; 165 straight league wins; 29 Section III titles; 19 Regional titles. Under Messere, the Wildcats finished No. 1 in the National Rankings in 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2003 and 2004. He has coached over 50 Scholastic All-Americans.


*New York State Coaches Association Century Club


*Member of the United States Lacrosse Coaches Association 300 Club


*Four times "Coach of the Year" Section III (’80, ’83, ’90, ’94)


*West Genesee Yearbook Dedication - 1984


*Onondaga High School League Coaches Award 1985


*Sports Illustrated "Faces in the Crowd" – April 15, 1985


*United States Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year 1985

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