Steve Stenersen, the CEO of US Lacrosse since the organization’s inception in 1998, announced his intention to leave the organization by the end of 2021. The decision is the outcome of a multi-year series of strategic conversations between Stenersen and the US Lacrosse Board of Directors about succession planning and organizational evolution.
Stenersen has served in a primary leadership role for the sport since being named executive director of The Lacrosse Foundation in 1984. In that role, he led the movement to create a unified national structure for lacrosse resulting in the merger of eight national organizations to form US Lacrosse.
“Great leaders are rare, and Steve has proven himself to be an incredible one for nearly four decades,” stated Beth Lyman, chair of the US Lacrosse Board of Directors. “Steve’s departure comes when he is at the top of his game, having built and led an outstanding organization that is now perfectly positioned to take advantage of new opportunities that lie ahead.
“The board of directors joins the entire lacrosse community in expressing our profound appreciation to Steve for helping to lead the sport and drive the organization to a place of programmatic and financial strength. While Steve will certainly leave huge shoes to fill, and his daily presence will be sorely missed, we are also thankful for, and excited about, the impressive foundation he is leaving US Lacrosse that can be built upon.”
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to steward US Lacrosse from its infancy to the extraordinary position the organization occupies today,” Stenersen said. “I’m enormously proud of what has been accomplished to date and will be forever grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented and passionate coworkers and volunteers throughout the United States in service to the sport we love. My pride for US Lacrosse is matched only by my excitement about what I know will be a rewarding journey of continued success.”
Over the last two decades plus, US Lacrosse has invested more than $275 million into the development and infrastructure of the sport, helping it to become one of the fastest-growing team sports in the country. Roughly 850,000 players compete on organized lacrosse teams in the United States each year, an increase of over 225 percent since US Lacrosse first started tracking data in 2001.
The US Lacrosse board of directors will immediately begin a national search for a president and CEO, which will be overseen by the board’s executive committee. Stenersen will remain in his role until a successor is named and/or installed, which will take place no later than December 31, 2021.
Photo courtesy US Lacrosse/Steve Stenersen