Coached By: Bob Hoppey
There are many names synonymous with Long Island lacrosse, but few get the respect and praise as the name Frank Urso. Somewhat of a mythical legend now thanks to a prolific high school and collegiate career, Urso is thought of as one of the greatest players to ever pick up a lacrosse stick in the world and especially on Long Island.
Urso relied on his natural athletic ability to play all sports. He was a late bloomer in lacrosse, only playing as early as ninth grade in junior high. Originally on the track team, a friend talked him into playing and the rest is history.
"I was getting bored from track," he says. "He had a stick and all that good stuff and said why don't you try it?"
Urso played three years of varsity lacrosse at Brentwood, where he was also a star on the football team. His team played in many big games, including the Long Island championship in 1972, but lost to Elmont. On the gridiron, Urso never lost a game. From the youth leagues all through high school the Indians were undefeated.
For his efforts and character in lacrosse, Urso was awarded the Enners Award in 1972.
"Anytime you win those things you know it's more about your team and what you were able to accomplish playing with a group of guys," he says.
Though he originally planned on playing both football and lacrosse in college and was recruited by many schools as a package athlete, he wound up just playing lacrosse at Maryland.
"I figured two sports might be tough to focus on," he says. "I had to convince them to change my scholarship just to lacrosse."
It worked and his collegiate lacrosse career was even more rewarding that at Brentwood.
"I wish I was still there," says Urso, who scored 127 goals and collected 206 points in four seasons. "It was a great career and I had a ton of success."
He is one of only four players in college history to be named a First-Team All-American (1973-76) and helped the Terps win national titles in 1973 and 1975.
Urso, whose goal record still stands at Maryland, won the McLaughlin Award as the nation's Most Outstanding Midfielder in 1974, 1975 and 1976. He also won the Enners Award in college in 1975, given to the nation's top player.
He played for the U.S. Team, which won the 1974 World Lacrosse Championships in Melbourne, Australia and was the youngest player on that team.
He has coached the McGarvey Lacrosse Club, was an assistant with the Washington Wave Indoor Lacrosse Team and is a member of the Long Island Metropolitan Lacrosse Hall of Fame, as well as the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Today, Urso works for T-Mobile as a sales manager in Philadelphia and is the varsity lacrosse coach at Garnet Valley High School, where his son Vail is a player on the team.
"It's pressure for him," Urso jokes. "At least he thinks it is. There's none for me, so to speak. I'll say to him that I'd love for him to go to Maryland. And he says, - there's no way I'm going there.' He gets it from his friends often. They read old articles."
The Urso legend lives on.