Former Manhasset varsity lacrosse coach enters hall of fame

Rose Weldon
Alan Lowe, pictured here at a Manhasset Secondary School lacrosse event in 1992, is among the first inductees into the National Interscholastic Lacrosse Coach Association's Hall of Fame (photo courtesy of Manhasset Secondary School Athletics).

Alan Lowe, former head lacrosse coach at Manhasset Secondary School, has been named to the first Hall of Fame class for the National Interscholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association.

A member of the association since 1968, Lowe coached Manhasset’s lacrosse team for 32 years, during which he won two state championships, seven Long Island championships, and nine Nassau County championships.

Lowe, a native of Roosevelt, played various sports growing up, but during his sophomore year at Hempstead High School he began playing lacrosse, to his mother’s dismay.

“My mother was furious when I started,” Lowe remembered. “But, I think about the time I became an All-American, she was fine with it.”

As a student-athlete at the University of Maryland, Lowe was coached by former All-American John “Hezzy” Howard, won a national championship in 1967, and was named an All-American twice. In his fifth and final year at Maryland, he coached the freshman lacrosse team before returning to Long Island in 1968.

Manhasset native Bob Rule played goaltender on Cornell University’s team, and first encountered Lowe, an attackman, as rivals on the field when his team played Maryland. 

“He directed the offense so well,” Rule said. “You could see his potential as a coach even then.”

Both men later became friends through playing together on the Long Island Lacrosse Club team and the U.S. lacrosse team, which Lowe co-captained. 

After six years of playing on club teams and serving as an assistant coach at East Meadow High School, Lowe was named head coach at Manhasset Secondary School.

“I was at the right place at the right time,” Lowe said. “I was so lucky that they’d just created the job.”

Rule, hired as a history teacher, became his assistant coach, and in addition to his lacrosse duties, Lowe taught physical education. 

Lowe became the school’s varsity lacrosse coach in 1974, and stayed in the position until he retired in 2006. Over the course of his career, Lowe coached hundreds of players, but two of his most valuable actually attended Mineola High School.

Sons Darren, a three-time All-American at Brown University, and Kevin, who led Princeton University’s team to two NCAA championships, grew up under Lowe’s tutelage. Both sons, like their father, have been inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

“Lacrosse has been very good to my family,” Lowe said. 

Rule says that Darren and Kevin’s successes are a testament to their father’s abilities as a coach.

“Al’s strength as a coach was a great gauge for talent, great organizer, excellent at motivation,” Rule said. “We worked kids hard, and you always felt he was in control. Going into any game, you felt prepared and that you got the best out of his talent.”

Lowe now resides with his wife on the west coast of Florida, where he says he appreciates not having to “chop ice or shovel snow.” While he doesn’t miss the weather on Long Island, he says, he does miss being a coach.

“I miss the daily routine. I miss the kids,” Lowe said. “You have to keep them on their toes, and they kept me on my toes. They kept me young.”

Lowe and 12 other high school lacrosse coaches, including fellow Long Island coaches Joe Cuozzo of Ward Melville High School and Bob Hanraft of Farmingdale High School, will be inducted at the interscholastic coaches Hall of Fame ceremony at the Plandome Country Club in November.  

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