My Memories of Josh Byrne at Hofstra
By Seth Tierney | May 8, 2020
Within the first week of having Josh in our Hofstra lacrosse practices at Shuart Stadium, maybe even the first day, all our players knew right away that this guy was going to be great.
I’d learned of Josh through an alum who was coaching nearby at the community college level. Josh was undoubtedly a D1 player but academically needed to go the junior college path his first two years.
By the time Josh joined our team as a junior in 2016, although he was still trying to figure out the speed and size and strength of the Division I game, he fit the bill of what makes a Hofstra lacrosse player. He came into Hofstra not trying to be a leader but just trying to fit in, and then he led by example.
He got in the weight room, handled his academics, and got to work on the practice field. Josh always works away at new skills before implementing them in a game, and that became his secret weapon. He developed a one-handed shot and pass and became very dangerous with them. He is very deceptive with his hands and his body language on where he’s going to throw the ball.
And even though he really “brings it” in practice, when it came time to play, the guys saw something different on gameday. Josh is a fierce competitor on gameday. He takes every possession like it’s his last and before we knew it, he was scoring 2, 3, 4 goals a game as he adapted to his new role on our team.
But as much as Josh is a goal scorer, he is also a playmaker. I think he enjoys that even more than scoring goals. He certainly has a knack for putting the ball in the net, but he also sees the game very well. He has a love for being part of a goal and doesn’t have to be the goal. Both on and off the field, Josh is an unbelievable teammate to every single guy on the team.
Off the field, Josh is a pretty loosey-goosey guy. Whether he knows it or not, I think that’s been one of the most important keys to his success in lacrosse… he never stopped having fun with it.
He’ll shake it down when the music’s playing in the locker room and he certainly uses some theatrics in his post-goal celebrations. He is a fun-loving, good-time guy, but when the lights go on, he’s looking to win. He’s very serious about winning and when he doesn’t, it’s not lost on him. Those losses stay with him and they have driven him to the point he is at now.
My advice to the next generation of lacrosse players would be that lacrosse is a sport that’s going to be around for a long time… never forget that this sport is a vehicle that can take people to some amazing places. If you look at what it’s done for players like Paul Rabil and Kyle Harrison and Tom Schreiber, Josh Byrne is that next guy who’s going to be around for another decade impacting young people. He’s going to be a tremendous role model and spokesperson for the game. After him, it could be any young player out there.
Secondly, make sure you are nimble in regards to what position you play. Learn everything, work hard, and know that behind every guy you watch on gameday in the PLL, they’ve invested an extraordinary amount of time and effort to their craft and to their position. Know that if you want something bad enough, it certainly is going to happen for you.
And finally, do not be discouraged if your path to the top is not linear. Josh began his career at the junior college level, came to play for us at Hofstra, and then was drafted into the NLL, along with his PLL career beginning. If he had been lackadaisical and careless while playing in junior college, if he hadn’t given it his all, he would not have made it onto my radar. There were many challenges that Josh faced from his youth box lacrosse days, to where he is now. His perseverance has been the key to his ride. Be big time wherever you may be, somebody is always watching.
- Seth Tierney, Men's Lacrosse Head Coach at Hofstra University
Today's article is brought to you by the IMLCA Players Directory. Throughout May, Premium Memberships include a $50 credit to the PLL Store. https://imlca.app/signup-direct