Brendan Curran found his love for lacrosse in one of the first programs in the Hudson Valley and has helped expand opportunities for the next generation. Curran took advantage of his opportunity and turned it into a college career. “I grew up in Scarsdale which was one of the first places in Westchester County where lacrosse was played,” Curran said. “Lacrosse wasn’t as big but our gym teacher in junior high was the varsity coach. He ran programs for the youth which wasn’t really common back then.”
Curran played for Scarsdale High School, then SUNY Cortland and continues to pick up the stick in his spare time. “I’ve been a lifelong player of the game,” Curran said.
After graduating from Cortland in 1982, Curran began his coaching career. “I got into coaching immediately after college,” Curran said. “I was living in New York City, in the upper west side, and, near where I was living, there was Trinity High School that had a boys’ program so I stopped by the school and asked if they needed any help coaching and they did.”
After Trinity, Curran moved back to Westchester where he worked at his alma mater, Scarsdale, for over 20 years before beginning youth lacrosse programs in North Salem. He also coached varsity lacrosse at North Salem High School. From his time as a varsity lacrosse coach, Curran will always remember the bonds he formed with players and coaches. “My biggest memories with anything are the relationships I’ve had with the players,” Curran said. “To this day, [I’m] reaching out to a former player because I thought about them or a particular team we had. In my last couple of years in Scarsdale, we had a younger staff and I still keep in touch with those guys, I was kind of their mentor.”
Curran also makes sure to not forget the big moments. “Of course, I remember big wins that I’ve had over the years,” Curran said. “I’m very proud of the fact that we beat Yorktown when I was at Scarsdale, we beat Mamaroneck, one of the top teams around.”
Life is about connections and Curran used his connections to get involved with the New York State Regional Championships. “I’ve known Michael Winkoff for years,” Curran said. “I played against him in high school and we played against each other in college but we didn’t really know each other. As it turned out, we had a common friend and, over the years, that relationship has grown from knowing this friend. I became closer with [Winkoff] and he and I spoke over the summer and he mentioned he was doing this and he was looking for a representative for the area so he asked me to do it.”
With his daughter, Grace, playing Division I lacrosse at Rutgers University, adding girls to the tournament was important for Curran. “It’s awesome,” he said. “Having grown up in the area and knowing the history of the game, in the 70s, 80s, 90s and early 2000s, the Empire State Games were in existence, they were like the Olympics. It’s great to be a part of this resurgence. The boys have been around for a couple of years now and it’s great now that the women, too, are on equal footing and they have a voice in this.”
Curran is excited to see the tight-knit group that loves lacrosse. “It’s a community,” Curran said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the teams from the different areas playing, seeing people who I may not even expect to see, being a part of this pageantry of the game when you represent your area, seeing the complete package, boys and girls and representing the Hudson Valley area, which is one of the hotbeds for lacrosse in the state of New York.”