April 25, 2002

McEneaney to Be Honored Saturday

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There is a window at the back of the men’s lacrosse office which looks out over the southern side of the field. It usually gives a wide view of Schoellkopf field, but this year it’s been obscured. Since the fall, a carnellian Cornell lacrosse away jersey has hung on the upper pane with a white number 10 emblazoned on the front. That was the number that lacrosse legend Eamon McEneaney ’77 wore during his years at Cornell.

“We put that up as a sign that there’s more to our program than day-to-day operations, and it really supersedes anyone that’s been a part of it,” head coach Jeff Tambroni said. “It’s a family. I hung [the jersey] up there for inspiration.”

McEneaney, who was a senior vice president and limited partner at Cantor-Fitzgerald, was in one of the top floors of the North Tower during the attacks on the World Trade Center.

If the legacy of McEneaney hasn’t been a theme of the current lacrosse season, it certainly has been an undercurrent running through it. Since his premature and tragic death, the lacrosse team has found numerous ways to commemorate one of its most prominent alumni.

“It started with Coach Tambroni. He mentioned that he would like to do something in his honor,” said Richie Moran who was the Cornell lacrosse coach from 1969-97.

Moran invited Tambroni and the men’s lacrosse team to McEneaney’s memorial service in New Canaan, Conn. The team brought in tow a framed jersey which it presented to the members of the McEneaney family.

“We talked about officially retiring his jersey,” Moran said. “What [Tambroni] had done was put together his jersey and framed it, and presented it to his wife.”

However, this Saturday McEneaney’s jersey will officially be retired following the Cornell-Brown lacrosse game in a 15 minute ceremony. His teammate Mike French ’76 and Moran will likely speak. Many lacrosse players from the ’70s are expected to attend.

In addition the film room underneath the lacrosse office and the alumni golf tournament will be dedicated to McEneaney. Moran also mentioned that those remembering McEneaney are seeking a visiting professorship in Irish literature — one of McEneaney’s passions — to be named in his honor.

“Certainly it’s a difficult situation and it’s unfortunate that it had to come after the death of one of our greatest alums, but it’s a kind tribute and a fitting tribute to one of the greatest players to come through here,” Tambroni said.

The University has also engraved a crease-sized circle around a ’10’ on the southwestern corner of Schoellkopf Field. Before every home game, the lacrosse team congregates there

“The number 10 on the field has been a reminder,” Tambroni said.

“We always talk about playing very passionately and with energy and enthusiasm and he’s the guy who did it more than anybody. It’s a reminder of how we want to play and what we want to represent and what Cornell stands for,” he continued.

There have been illusions to McEneaney all through the season, whether it was an article in a program, or even imported by the opposing team. When Yale came to play Cornell on March 23, each player wore the number 10 on his helmet. And last weekend Princeton honored McEneaney alongside the Tigers’ own John Schoeder who also passed away on Sept. 11.

As for the carnellian jersey, it will come down on Saturday to be presented to Bonnie McEneaney. But until then, it will remain in the lacrosse office window as an emblem of the tradition, tenacity, and honor of the Cornell program and McEneaney himself.

“It’s a reminder to our coaching staff and the guys that walk in that we’ve had some awfully special people who put that jersey on,” Tambroni concluded.

Archived article by Amanda Angel