Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
In recent years former standout Hofstra men’s lacrosse player James Metzger has made significant contributions to Pride athletics including gifts that enabled locker room facility enhancements and the creation of The Hallway Traditions Project in Margiotta Hall. The former NCAA All American attackman will be recognized for his charitable work beyond Hofstra later this month when he will be one of two honorees at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) 2010 Presidential Gala.
Metzger, who is chief executive officer of The Whitmore Group in Garden City, N.Y., was first introduced to BBBSLI by former Hofstra men’s lacrosse players E. David Woycik and Mark Cox, the chief development officer for the charitable organization. Metzger along with fellow Hofstra alumnus Andrew F. Corrado, who is market president for Capital One Bank in Nassau County, will be honorees at the BBBSLI’s Presidential Gala on Sept. 23 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, N.Y. BBBSLI provides volunteer mentors to children who are in need of an additional positive, caring adult in their lives.
“Long Island has given me so much and I felt it was time that I give back,” said Metzger, a graduate of Half Hollow Hills High School in Dix Hills, N.Y. and a 1983 Hofstra alumnus, of his decision to become involved with BBBSLI. “It is compelling for me to be involved with this charity.”
Metzger now lives in Manhattan but Long Island has remained a huge cornerstone of his life, and running a company in Garden City has enabled convenient access to his passion for Hofstra athletics and the university as a whole. In addition to his contributions to Pride athletics Metzger also has funded a summer internship within the university's Center for Civic Engagement in honor of longtime Hofstra History Professor Michael D’Innocenzo. Metzger was also a platinum sponsor for an event this past February that raised funds for Hofstra student scholarships called “Night of the Broadway Stars”, which honored his former high school and college lacrosse teammate Joseph Corcoran, co-founder of TheaterMania.com.
“My time at Hofstra was invaluable,” said Metzger of why he has chosen to give so much back to his alma mater. “I attribute a great deal of my success in business to my athletic background, particularly the time I spent playing lacrosse at Hofstra.”
“Jim Metzger’s leadership and generosity have been instrumental to our athletics program,” said Hofstra Athletic Director Jack Hayes. “He cares about the student-athletes and he knows that athletic success is an important public relations tool for promoting the University.”
One major regret Metzger has is that he only played two years of lacrosse at Hofstra. After his All-American sophomore season in 1980, where he scored 21 goals and tallied 28 assists in just 10 games, Metzger decided to end his lacrosse career. As the years went on Metzger wished he had played his final two years at Hofstra and often speaks to young athletes about how they should make the most of their opportunities when they are young.
“As a 50-year old guy I’d love to have that eligibility back,” he said.
After giving up the sport he grew up with following the 1980 season, Metzger went the next 25 years without even watching a lacrosse game of any kind. He then got brought back into following the sport thanks to the resurgence of his nephew Rob Pannell, who was an All American at Smithtown West High School and is now a star attackman at Cornell. Metzger is now an avid follower of both the Hofstra men's and women's lacrosse programs and attends nearly every home game.
Since becoming heavily involved supporting his alma mater Metzger has developed close relationships with Hayes and Hofstra men’s lacrosse head coach Seth Tierney, who will both be attending the Sept. 23 BBBSLI event honoring him. Metzger is proud of the recent accomplishments Hofstra has seen both on and off the field and is excited to see even greater strides in the coming years.
“I look forward to the continued growth of the university and the continued enhancement of the brand,” said Metzger. “I’m a proud alumnus and I’ll continue to support the university in a number of ways.”