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San Diego County Lacrosse Hall of Fame - CLASS OF 2014

On September 14, 2014, the San Diego Chapter of US Lacrosse held its Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant. Over 50 people attended the event and were treated to a cocktail party, a gourmet dinner and a night of wonderful lacrosse people.

Russ Olsen
(Inducted as an Administrator/Coach/Player)
He was introduced by his friend, Mitch Fenton.

Russ Olsen grew up in Novato, California and spent his childhood totally immersed in sports. Russ found lacrosse during a high school baseball practice and decided to give it a try. The sport captured him and he gave up baseball to pursue lacrosse, learning the game from his best friend, Carlo Maglione. In 1982, he was recruited to San Diego State University to play lacrosse under Coach Mitch Fenton and was reunited with his former Novato teammate, Carlo. Russ set a new team scoring record of 98 points in his freshman year and followed with 107 points in his sophomore year. Over his four years at SDSU, he amassed 348 points to become the Aztec All-Time Scoring leader, a record that stands today. Following college, Russ continued to play club lacrosse, winning 12 straight Southern Cal Club Championships and a state title in 1991. He was selected to an all-star team every year he played lacrosse. Following in his father’s footsteps, a football coach for almost 60 years, Russ also took up coaching and spent 26 years at the helm of five varsity teams: Patrick Henry, Serra, Novato , Canyon Crest and Scripps Ranch. He won two state championships with two different teams: Patrick Henry HS in 1995 and Serra HS in 1998. In 1984, Russ started the SDSU Lacrosse Camp as a Physical Education Department special study class, later called the Great Western Lacrosse Camp. Russ’s camps have been teaching young lacrosse players for the past 31 years. He started the first indoor league on the west coast which will be celebrating its 20th year this fall. He runs tournaments, coaches travel teams (Go Warhawks!), mentors young coaches, is a referee in the SDCLOA and administrates various lacrosse organizations. In his spare time, Russ has written 13 children’s books (though none yet published), loves Ford Mustangs and has an affinity for horses. He lives in Poway.

Joseph Brown
(Inducted as an Administrator/Coach/Player)
He was introduced by his daughter, Delaney Brown.

Joe’s involvement with San Diego Lacrosse dates back to 1986 when he arrived at UCSD. He played for the UCSD Tritons where he admittedly was a player with far more guts than skill. Joe was a captain and team officer/president for 3 years. The arrival of new coach Bruce Seitz in 1987, with his guidance and leadership, molded the UCSD team from a rag-tag club unit to one of the top programs in the Western US. Joe’s experience with UCSD lacrosse had a great and lasting impact on him. Joe finished his degree and graduated from law school. Joe later returned to San Diego and it was his lacrosse connections that initiated his career in Information Technology. He began coaching HS boys, got involved with the SDCLA (pre-cursor to the San Diego Chapter), and organized the first major lacrosse event in San Diego at the Polo Fields in 1997. The past few years he has had the pleasure of coaching many great young people in the Scripps Ranch community, as well as top players from San Diego & Orange County. And while the wins are great, and the accolades are appreciated, his greatest joy is passing on his passion for the game. This past summer he had five of his former players come back to help coach the younger players in his lacrosse programs. Watching them laugh, smile, and coach the next generation of players was incredible–words could not describe the amount of pride and pleasure he took in watching them in action. Joe often reckons back to Bruce’s message of using lacrosse as a vehicle to connect the dots in life, which kept him at UCSD, and has given him all that I he is thankful for.

Liza Neptune
(Inducted as an Administrator/Coach/Player)
She was introduced by fellow Hall of Fame member, Lisa Hawk

Liza Neptune was first introduced to lacrosse during high school when living in Bay Shore, NY and attending St. John’s High School in West Islip, NY. While attending the University of Colorado, Liza played on the women’s team for three years until graduating. Moving back to NYC after college she continued to play on local club teams for a few years. Liza has coached lacrosse for 15 years; 10 years at San Dieguito Academy and currently and for the past 5 years at Pacific Ridge School where she started both their middle school and high school girls’ programs. While currently the President of the San Diego Chapter of US Lacrosse, Liza also served as the San Diego Chapter’s US Lacrosse All-Academic Chair for four years and is the All-American Chair, a position she has held for the past five years. She is also Co-President of the San Diego County Girls Lacrosse Association (SDCGLA) and participates on the SDCGLA Middle School board as well. Liza has been involved for numerous years with the selection and coordination of the local girls’ team that travels to the east coast for the Women’s Division National Tournament, has participated in the Fast Break Clinics sponsored by US Lacrosse in the San Diego Area, and has contributed annually to the girls’ All-Star game. She is married and has two children, both who played lacrosse. Her son is an Army Ranger stationed at Ft. Benning, Ga. and her daughter is currently in her first year of law school at the University of Wisconsin. Liza currently is an Athletic Coordinator at Pacific Ridge School and teaches an adapted aquatics class that she founded as a partnership between the Magdalena Ecke YMCA and the Encinitas School District.

2014 Award Winners
All About Lacrosse Award:

Paul Sanit- Poway Lacrosse
Michael Mathai- San Marcos Warriors