Duane Jacobs | Forward (1995-2002)
CLASS OF 2009
Duane Jacobs went into the Hall of Fame after playing eight of his 11 seasons (1993-2003) with the Knighthawks and was one of the franchise's first superstars. He finished his pro career with 196 goals and 206 assists in 113 regular season games. He broke into pro lacrosse with the Detroit Turbos (1993-94) and became a member of the inaugural Knighthawks team in 1995. He was a Knighthawk from 1995 to 2002 and was a key member of the team's first championship team in 1997.
Jacobs was a four-time All-Pro while in Rochester and was a two-time team MVP (1996 and 1999). He also served as the team captain during the 2001-02 season. He was named to the franchise's All-Time Team in 2003-04. The forward played in 93 games with the 'Hawks and recorded 169 goals and 185 assists for 354 points. At the time of his induction, he ranked third in goals and points, and fourth in assists in Knighthawks' history. He spent his final season with the Buffalo Bandits in 2002-03.
Jeremy Hollenbeck | Transition (1995-2004)
CLASS OF 2011
Jeremy Hollenbeck was an original member of the Knighthawks when the team was launched in 1995. He quickly became a fan favorite through his work ethic and tenacity. Hollenbeck arrived in Rochester after playing his college lacrosse at Nazareth College, where he was a two-time All-American. He spent four seasons with the Golden Flyers (1991-94) and was a member of the 1992 national championship team. The forward was instrumental in the Knighthawks' early success as the team advanced to the Finals in two of the first three seasons, winning the 1997 title against Buffalo.
Hollenbeck called Rochester home for 10 seasons, retiring after the 2003-04 season. During his career, the former fourth-round pick registered 64 goals, 118 assists and 486 loose balls in 111 games. At the time of his induction, he ranked eighth in games played and 10th in loose balls. In the postseason, he was better than a point per game performer and scooped up 63 loose balls in just 16 games. In 1999, he was named the Knighthawks' Unsung Hero. The Knighthawks advanced to five NLL Finals during his 10 seasons.
Mike Hasen | Defenseman (1999-2007)
CLASS OF 2011
Mike Hasen was inducted into the Knighthawks Hall of Fame for his work as a player. He helped anchor the Rochester defense from 1999 to 2007, ending his career by winning the 2007 Champion’s Cup. At the time of his retirement, he ranked fifth in games played (114), loose balls (575) and penalty minutes (188). He served as the team captain for five seasons (2002-03 to 2007).
In his career, he played in 150 games and recorded 23 goals, 82 assists and 704 loose balls. He was also named the team MVP in 2003-04 and was a two-time winner of the team’s Unsung Hero Award (2000-01 to 2001-02) and a three-time recipient of the Knighthawks’ Best Defenseman honor. Hasen was also named to the Canadian All-Star team for the inaugural NLL All-Star Game in 1999.
Pat Cougevan | Defenseman (1996, 98, 2001-2009)
CLASS OF 2012
Pat Cougevan spent his entire career in Rochester, playing 11 seasons (1996, 98, 2001-09) on defense and winning the 2007 Champion’s Cup. He ranked in the Top 10 in team history in games played and was honored as the team’s community service award winner, seventh man and comeback player of the year. In his final season with the team in 2009, he served as one of the team’s alternate captains.
Before arriving in Rochester, Cougevan excelled in college at Syracuse University from 1990-93. At SU, the Penn Yan, NY, native was a two-time NCAA champion (1990 and 1993).
Pat O’Toole | Goalie (1999-2010)
CLASS OF 2013
Known as one of the greatest goalies in team and league history, Pat O’Toole played 16 seasons of professional lacrosse, 12 of those in Rochester. O’Toole signed with the Knighthawks as a free agent on January 23, 1999 and the rest, they say, is history.
O'Toole still ranks first in franchise history in wins (102) and saves (5,756). In 173 games in Rochester, he recorded a 102-51 record, an 11.21 goals-against average and a .771 save percentage. O’Toole also guided the Knighthawks to their second NLL championship (2007), and is Rochester’s all-time leader in postseason wins (9) and saves (644).
Additionally, he led the Knighthawks to Finals appearances in 1999, 2000 and 2003. O’Toole was one of the keys to Rochester’s 17-2 championship season in 2007. He was popular amongst his teammates as he was three times voted the team’s MVP. He was also a two-time All-Pro and the league’s 2003 Goaltender of the Year. He also revolutionized the game as he became a legitimate scoring threat, netting three goals as a Rochester Knighthawk, which is the NLL record for goals by a goaltender. He chipped in 136 assists, hitting teammates with memorable floor-length passes. In 2013, he was inducted into the Knighthawks Hall of Fame.
During his NLL career, O’Toole played for three teams: Rochester, Buffalo and New York (Saints). He was a workhorse in goal, logging 10,285 minutes while finishing his career as the NLL’s all-time saves leader with 6,464. He won two championships, 1996 with Buffalo and 2007 with Rochester, and earned a record of 115-56. He also registered an 11.40 goals-against average and a .768 save percentage. On December 7, 2013, he was inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame.
Paul Day | Head Coach (1998-2005), Assistant Coach (1995-1997), Assistant GM (2003-2005)
CLASS OF 2009
Paul Day was a member of the inaugural class of the Knighthawks Hall of Fame. Day served as Rochester’s head coach for eight seasons (1998-2005) and worked as an assistant for three (1995-97). He was behind the bench for Rochester’s first league championship in 1997.
In eight seasons as head coach, he led Rochester to three appearances in the NLL championship game (1999, 2000 & 2003) and eight postseason berths. In 2003, he added assistant general manager to his title and the following season was named the NLL Les Bartley Coach of the Year. In 2001, he was named the NLL Coach of the Year by Inside Lacrosse. He still remains the winningest head coach in team history with a 75-39 record.
Day returned to the Knighthawks in 2011 and resumed assistant coaching duties. In 2014, he won his fourth National Lacrosse League Championship as a coach, which included three straight with the Knighthawks (2012-14).
Regy Thorpe | Defenseman (1995-2008)
CLASS OF 2012
Regy Thorpe was an original Knighthawk, joining the team in 1995 out of Syracuse University. Thorpe served as one of the team’s most reliable defensemen and also worked behind the scenes as the team’s general manager for a season. It’s on the field, however, where Thorpe made a name for himself over 15 seasons. The Elbridge, NY, native spent his entire career in Rochester, where he stands as the team’s all-time leader in games played (193), loose balls (966) and penalty minutes (385).
While in Rochester, Thorpe guided the Knighthawks to six title games and 13 playoff berths in 15 seasons. More importantly, Thorpe stands as the only player in team history to play for the first two championship teams: 1997 and 2007. In 2005, the defensive stalwart was also named to the Knighthawks’ All-Time Team.
In 2008, he became the first player to also serve as a team’s general manager. Owner Curt Styres named Thorpe to the post in his first season as the team’s owner. Thorpe made NLL history in 2009 as the first general manager to play in a game for his team.
Tim Soudan | Forward (1995-2005)
CLASS OF 2009
Tim Soudan entered the Hall of Fame after playing 15 seasons (1991-2005) of professional indoor lacrosse - 11 of those with the hometown Knighthawks. The Fairport native played with the Knighthawks from the team's inception in 1995 to 2005.
At the time of his induction, he still appeared near the top of numerous categories in franchise history. He was tied for third in team history in games played (125) and was tied for fourth in goals (156). The former forward ranked sixth in assists (161) and points (317). His personal accolades included being honored as the team's Seventh Man in 1996 for his hard work and dedication. Soudan also earned a spot on the Knighthawks' All-Time Team in 2003-04.
He began his professional career in 1991 with the New England Blazers of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League. He played three more seasons with the Boston Blazers, earning league All-Pro honors in 1994. In 1995, he returned home to play for the expansion Knighthawks. In his pro career, he played in 154 games and recorded 184 goals and 176 assists.
Paul Gait | Forward (1995-97)
CLASS OF 2010
Paul Gait was one of the greatest players in Knighthawks and NLL history. In 2010, he was inducted into the team’s hall of fame after leading Rochester to two finals in three seasons (1995-97). The National Lacrosse League Hall of Famer and 11-time All-Pro also helped the franchise win its first championship in 1997. Paul earned the team’s MVP award that season as he completed his Knighthawks career with 87 goals and 58 assists in just 27 games.
Those three seasons were part of an unprecedented 13-year playing career that began in 1991 and ended in 2005. Gait played in 128 regular season games for teams in Detroit, Philadelphia, Rochester, Syracuse, Washington and Colorado. In Syracuse, he was also the Director of Player Personnel. He won titles in 1991 (Detroit), 1994 (Philadelphia) and 1997 (Rochester) and was named the league’s MVP in 2002. He was an eight-time First Team All-Pro and a three-time Second Team All-Pro. He ranks seventh all-time in league history in goals (410), and finished his career with 712 points.
Gait led the league in goals in four seasons (1991, 1992, 1994, and 2002). He was also outstanding in the playoffs, scoring a record-setting eight goals in the 1994 Championship Game for the Philadelphia Wings, the most goals ever scored in a league championship game. Gait also holds the record for most career championship game goals with 23. After retiring following the 2002 season, Gait, made a brief comeback with the Colorado Mammoth in order to play again professionally with his brother Gary before Gary's retirement in 2005.
Randy Mearns | Defenseman (1995-2005)
CLASS OF 2010
Randy Mearns played seven seasons in Rochester (1995-01) and still stands as the longest-tenured captain in team history (six seasons). The forward recorded 45 goals and 125 assists in 72 games and played in three championship games with the Knighthawks. He was also a key member of the franchise's first championship team in 1997. In 1998, he was awarded the team’s Seventh Man Award. Mearns played nine seasons of professional lacrosse and collected 214 points (62+152) in 95 games. He won his first title with Buffalo in 1993.
Casey Zaph | Defenseman (1999-2004)
CLASS OF 2015
On Saturday, February 28, 2015, the Knighthawks enshrined Casey Zaph into the team's Hall of Fame. "Zapher" earned a reputation as a hard-nosed, no-nonsense defender for some of the legendary Knighthawks teams of the last decade. After signing with the Knighthawks in January of 1999, he played for six seasons in Rochester. From 2000-05, he patrolled the back end and helped Rochester advance to two NLL Championship Games. His tenacity and dedication to the team earned him an Unsung Hero Award and selection to the Knighthawks’ 10th Anniversary Team. In 79 games, he notched 66 points and 377 ground balls, and still ranks in the Top 10 in team history in penalty minutes.
Jody Gage | GM/VP of Player Personnel (1997-2008, 2010-)
CLASS OF 2010
Jody Gage is the only person to grace the Hall of Fames for two Rochester professional sports teams: the Knighthawks and the Rochester Americans. Gage served as the Knighthawks general manager for 12 seasons and built the Knighthawks into a lacrosse dynasty (1997-2008). Rochester advanced to five championship games and won two titles during his tenure. In 2007, he assembled a Knighthawks team that won a league record 17 games and suffered only two losses. Rochester also won 15 straight games, which is the second most in NLL history, en route to the championship. Rochester won 12 straight games to close the regular season and tied for the best single-season record by any team since the NLL switched to the 16-game schedule.
He had a hand in drafting future superstars John Grant, Casey Powell, Curt Malawsky, Josh Sanderson and Colin Doyle. He also was a masterful GM when it came to trades, acquiring notable players such as Mike Accursi, Chris Schiller, Steve Toll and Shawn Williams during his tenure.
Gage was inducted into the Amerks Hall of Fame in 1999 and is only one of three players to have his number retired. He stands as the Amerks’ all-time leader in games played, goals, assists and points. He also holds numerous team and American Hockey League records. He was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in 2006. After retiring from hockey, he moved into the front office where he still works for the Amerks Director of Strategic Planning. He was the team’s general manager from 1997 to 2009 and was the assistant GM when the Amerks won their sixth Calder Cup in 1996.
Gage officially rejoined the Rochester Knighthawks management team on September 29, 2010, as the Vice President of Player Personnel. In this position, he works closely with Owner and General Manager Curt Styres and the scouting staff. Gage offers input into the day-to-day decision making for the Knighthawks team. He also remains a key point of contact for the Knighthawks on all team business matters in Rochester. In 2014, he became only the second person in team history to win all five Championships (1997, 2007, 2012-14), joining Tom Cincebox.
Steve Donner | Owner (1995-2008)
CLASS OF 2014
On October 4, 1994, Steve Donner introduced Rochester to its newest team, the Knighthawks. It was as a preteen that he was first introduced to box lacrosse, attending a Rochester Iroquois game at the War Memorial in the late ‘60s. 30 years later he stood in the same arena to announce the return of indoor lacrosse.
Donner proved everyone wrong, and started to see his hunch pay off one week after the press conference. That’s when tickets went on sale to the public. On the first day, the Knighthawks sold 1,100 season tickets – which eventually reached 2,200 – and there was a buzz in Rochester. He can still recall the electricity that filled the arena on Opening Night on January 7, 1995. Rochester thrilled a crowd of 7,379, as it downed the Boston Blazers 12-8. Goalie Steve Dietrich was the star of the game as he made 52 saves.
The Knighthawks lacrosse franchise immediately established itself early as a successful member of the MILL, qualifying for the playoffs in each of its first three seasons and capturing the championship in 1997. After winning the Major Indoor Lacrosse League title, Donner went to work to expand and legitimize indoor lacrosse, which led to the creation of the National Lacrosse League. With the support of the players association and several current and new owners, Donner forced the issue and built a new league. It was a bold move, which created individual ownership, a playoff system based on record and not attendance, and competitive salaries for the players.
In 1998, the NLL launched with returning teams in Buffalo, Rochester, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, along with new teams in Syracuse and Ontario. The season schedule included a 12-game schedule. In addition, the playoff format featured a best-of-three championship series with the semifinals still taking place in a single-game elimination format, though postseason games were based on regular season record.
Rochester was a model franchise in the NLL and the obvious choice for the first NLL All-Star Game. So in 1999, the Knighthawks welcomed the lacrosse world to The Blue Cross Arena. Rochester would advance to the Finals that season, which started a trend for the team as they qualified for the Championship Game in 2000 and 2003, as well.
Rochester was nearly automatic when it came to playoff time, as it clinched a playoff berth in a league-record 13 straight seasons. During the 2007 season, the franchise not only made the playoffs, it made NLL history. The team captured the Champion’s Cup with a league-record 17 wins. The Knighthawks also won 15 straight games, which stands as the second longest streak in NLL history. The only regret was the game moving to Glendale, Arizona because the circus was in The Blue Cross Arena. Nonetheless, Rochester captured its second NLL title, winning 13-11 over the Sting.
Donner eventually sold majority ownership of the team to Curt Styres and on June 19, 2008, a new era began in Knighthawks’ history.
Chris Schiller | Defenseman (2002-2012)
CLASS OF 2016
Chris Schiller entered the Rochester Knighthawks’ Hall of Fame as its 15th member. After an outstanding 11 seasons (2002-2012) with his hometown team, the Penfield native also became the third Rochesterian to join the elite club.
Schiller came home in 2001-02 when the Knighthawks pulled off a deal with the Philadelphia Wings. It was a chance to play in front of his friends and family, and to play with some of the greatest names in the game. He made the most of his opportunity.
The 2002-03 season was a breakout campaign for Schiller, as he posted 16 goals, eight assists and 93 loose balls. He was honored as a member of the NLL’s All-Rookie Team that season. The following year, he collected 23 points to give him 27 goals, 20 assists and 163 loose balls during the two-year stretch.
Always a constant threat to transition the ball, “Schills” notched 49 goals and 73 assists for 122 points as a Knighthawk. He also still ranks fifth in team history in games played (138) and loose balls (713). Schiller displayed incredible leadership during his tenure in Rochester, as well. Twice he was named one of the team’s assistant captains, and three times he was voted the winner of the team’s Unsung Hero award.
His most important on-field accomplishment occurred in 2007. That year he was part of team and NLL history as the Knighthawks finished the regular season 14-2 and roared through the playoffs with three straight wins to capture the Champion’s Cup. His greatest memory of that historic season was winning the East Division Finals, 14-13, in overtime over Buffalo.
On the international stage, Schiller represented the United States at back-to-back FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, playing defense for Team USA in 2007 and 2011. This past September, he returned to the national team as an assistant coach. In 2010, he received the ultimate honor for a local lacrosse player, earning induction into the Greater Rochester Chapter of US Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
On April 30, 2016, he received the greatest individual honor bestowed upon a Knighthawks player, as he is inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame.
Pat McCready | Defenseman (1997-2001, 2011-12)
CLASS OF 2016
Pat McCready entered the Rochester Knighthawks’ Hall of Fame as its 14th member. During his playing career, the St. Catharines, Ontario native spent seven seasons in Rochester, donning the purple and teal from 1997-2001 and from 2011-12. Not only was he a two-time champ, but he was also twice named the team’s top defenseman. In 2011, he earned the NLL Defensive Player of the Year Award while earning First Team All-Pro honors.
McCready went out on top of the lacrosse world as he captained the Knighthawks to the 2012 championship. McCready played 17 seasons in the NLL and retired with 141 goals, 243 assists, and 1,593 loose balls, which were ranked third all-time in league history. He also ranked second in penalty minutes (468) and seventh in games played (219). More importantly, he was a three-time champion and three-time All-Star selection.
His career took him to teams in Charlotte, Buffalo, Toronto and Rochester. McCready certainly remembers the titles he won in Rochester, but his fondest memories were about his teammates and his family. Pat bookended his career by working alongside his father and his nephew. He had the fortune to play for his father, Robert “Buff” McCready, for four seasons in Rochester. “Buffer” was as an assistant coach with the Knighthawks from 1998-2001 and saw his son, nicknamed “Speedy,” develop into one of the most tenacious defensemen in the league.
After spending nearly a decade away from the Knighthawks, he returned to Rochester for his final two seasons. The 2011 and 2012 seasons were very memorable, as he earned the aforementioned accolades. But the biggest thrill of coming back to The Blue Cross Arena was the chance to play on defense with his nephew, Joel.
On April 30, 2016, he once again had the chance to share his love for lacrosse with his family as he was inducted into the Rochester Knighthawks Hall of Fame.
Mike Accursi | Forward (2005-2007, 2011-2014)
Accursi will join the likes of Paul Gait, Shawn Williams, Pat O’Toole, Mike Hasen, Pat McCready and nearly a dozen other members of one of the league’s most prestigious Halls of Fame.
“It’s a huge honor. You look at all those guys, and they were staples of the Rochester Knighthawks’ organization and true legends of the sport,” said Accursi. “To be included in that group of guys is humbling.”
Accursi played 17 seasons of pro lacrosse from 1998-2014 and amassed 391 goals, 436 assists and 827 points in 237 games. In his NLL career, he played for teams in Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Hamilton, and Edmonton. In NLL postseason history, he is ranked fifth in goals (58), tied for eighth in points (99), and tied for ninth in games played (26).
The St. Catharines, Ontario native spent some of his best years in Rochester. Known as one of the top clutch players in franchise history during his seven seasons in Rochester (2005-07, 2011-14), he helped the Knighthawks win four of their five Champion’s Cups.
When Knighthawks Owner and General Manager Curt Styres purchased the team in June of 2008, he identified Accursi as a player he wanted to bring back to the organization. After the 2010 campaign, the prolific point producer became available, and the Knighthawks made sure to sign the veteran forward.
In Accursi’s first season back in the teal and purple, the Knighthawks returned to the postseason. The following year, they began their run of three straight championships. Accursi was a big part of the team’s return to prominence.
“It’s his character,” said Styres. “It’s not what he does, but how he does it, that leaves a huge impression on me. It’s the way he conducts himself; he was a great example for the younger guys. He gets his point across, and the guys learn from it.”
Accursi remains among the top offensive players in the history of the storied franchise. The forward still ranks fifth in assists (222) and points (364), and ninth in goals (142). In Knighthawks’ playoff history, the three-time team alternate captain remains second in goals (28) and fifth in points (43).
“He was very competitive and a great teammate,” said Knighthawks VP of Player Personnel Jody Gage, who is also in the Knighthawks Hall of Fame. “He has great knowledge of the game and an incredible lacrosse IQ. As we all know, Mike scored a lot of big goals in a lot of big games for us, especially in the playoffs. He worked hard at his game, both on and off the floor. He was a big part of our success.”
“He was one of the most clutch guys ever to put on that uniform,” said former teammate and current Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. “Championships seem to follow him. We brought him here for a reason. He was a big part of when we got it done in 2007. Throughout his whole career, he was a guy who you knew was going to give his very best every night.”
Accursi’s most memorable Cup was his first one, as he was a key member of one of the best teams in the history of the NLL. The 2007 Knighthawks won a then league record 12 straight games. In the postseason, Rochester continued its dominance by winning all three playoff games to secure the franchise's second Champion's Cup. The 15 consecutive wins remains an NLL single-season record. Accursi led the playoffs with 11 goals and finished tied for sixth in points with 15. In the Championship Game, he scored three goals and added two assists.
That Cup was the first of five that he would win in an eight-year span in the National Lacrosse League. Accursi won his second Cup in 2008 with the Buffalo Bandits and ended his career with three consecutive championships with Rochester from 2012-14.
“The championship years were the best,” he said. “In 2007, we just had a very tight-knit group of guys who believed in each other and believed in our organization. We had one of the best years in NLL history. Then I look back to 2012-14, and we had some new faces, but we had the same type of atmosphere in the locker room. Those teams were special to be a part of.”
During the Knighthawks’ historic run of three straight championships, Accursi scored 45 goals and added 63 assists for 108 points in 33 regular season games. In the postseason, the man they called “No Mercy” posted eight goals and seven assists in six games.
“Mike was such a great player because he has a high lacrosse IQ, solid work ethic and compete level,” said fellow St. Catharines native and Knighthawks goalie Matt Vinc. “He always seemed to play his best in big games.”
That was indeed true in the 2012 and 2013 NLL Champion’s Cup Finals. In the 2012 title game, Accursi scored twice and assisted on another to spark a 7-0 run in the second half as the Knighthawks rallied for a 9-6 come-from-behind victory over the Edmonton Rush. In the team’s 11-10 win over Washington in the 2013 NLL Finals, he scored one goal and assisted on the game-winner to help Rochester win back-to-back championships.
In 2014, Accursi won his last Cup as he contributed to the team’s success on and off the field. After being hired as the team’s Lacrosse Operations Assistant, Accursi found himself called back into action midway through the season. On Feb. 1, he made team history as he traded in his suit and tie for his No. 44 sweater.
In his first game back, he scored one goal and added one assist against the Edmonton Rush. Accursi would go on to score five goals and chip in one assist in four games, as the Knighthawks went 3-1 with him in the lineup. In his final game, he scored the game-winning goal in an 11-9 victory over the Colorado Mammoth. He finished the season back in the front office and raised his fifth Champion’s Cup.
“He was the ultimate team player and a leader,” said Knighthawks Hall of Fame coach Paul Day. “He won everywhere he went. He was semi-retired and came out (of retirement) in 2014 and helped get us through some injuries. We were rewarded with a championship. It was a fitting end to a Hall of Fame career.”
On March 31, the Knighthawks players and fans will have the opportunity to honor one of the greatest players to ever play in the National Lacrosse League. According to Knighthawks defenseman Billy Dee Smith, who has known Accursi for over 20 years, there is no one more deserving than his longtime friend.
“We call him All-Pro because he is good at everything,” he said. “He should already be in the NLL Hall of Fame; he was the most clutch player to ever play in the NLL.”