Exemplary service contributor to growth of DC area lacrosse, enthusiastic and dedicated founder/ player/coach of local post-collegiate club team, Notre Dame graduate, Irish grandmaster midfielder, active promoter of boys’ and youth lacrosse in Washington, DC and Alexandria, committed activist for inner city and Gonzaga lacrosse.
There is one hallmark characteristic of Tom McHugh’s involvement with lacrosse: having fun while serving the sport and its participants. Growing up in northern New Jersey, Tom had to leave that area to become familiar with the sport he has dedicated himself to ever since. Introduced to lacrosse by his brother, he played his first game at Notre Dame, where he quickly became acquainted with the ruggedness of the sport and the social pleasures of the game.
Tom’s involvement in lacrosse in the DC metropolitan area dates to the mid-1970’s, when the sport was infrequently played within the region, outside of a handful of colleges and high schools. Fresh out of college, he set about creating a summer team to play in the emerging Montgomery summer league and then a post-collegiate club to compete in the Central Atlantic Lacrosse League. With no such teams existing on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, Tom recruited an expanding lacrosse posse and called them the Alexandria Lacrosse Club. This band of brothers, collectively and individually, helped to grow the sport in the ensuing years throughout the metro area. During its nine years of competition, Tom served as president and alternately, head coach and assistant coach. Win, lose, or draw, McHugh’s hole-in-the-wall gang always enjoyed themselves.
Tom has served as a head coach of both boys’ and girls’ teams in northern Virginia, first with the Ft. Hunt youth lacrosse program in 2000, and subsequently with a new Alexandria Lacrosse Club, which he resuscitated as a youth lacrosse organization in 2003. He served first as president of the new organization and currently serves on its board.
Tom still finds time to give back in other ways. He has worked hard to promote inner city lacrosse through service on the non-profit board of Winners’ Lacrosse since 2003, and as president of the organization since 2006. During his tenure, he has significantly strengthened the volunteer board as well as its financial operations.
In addition to organizing various youth clinics and off-season tournament travel, Tom has given presentations at the US Lacrosse convention and the Potomac Chapter coaches’ clinic. A senior vice president at Woodmark Commercial, a real estate brokerage, Tom is active with the local Notre Dame alumni club and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Tom’s family shares his passion for the game as well. He and his wife, Brook, reside in Alexandria, VA with their three children, Tom, Jr (18), Bo (15), and Laura Lee (12). Both sons play lacrosse at Gonzaga HS. His daughter is an up-and-coming player with the Alexandria Lacrosse Club.