May 3, 2004

Cornell Honors Boiardi '04, Retires Number

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Saturday’s Senior Day celebration for the men’s lacrosse team featured its share of emotions. Prior to the game against Brown, the team’s 11 seniors were honored. Following the Red’s 10-9 victory, No. 21 was retired in honor of George Boiardi ’04, the Cornell co-captain who died during the team’s game against Binghamton on March 17.

“George played with passion, he played the game he loved as well as anybody I’ve ever been around,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni during the brief post-game ceremony. “He was the greatest teammate I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach or play with.”

Boiardi’s entire family was on hand to share the day with the team and gathered crowd and to receive a Cornell jersey bearing Boiardi’s No. 21.

“Our family would like to thank everyone here for all the support you’ve given us over the last six weeks. We couldn’t have done it with out you,” said Mario Boiardi, George’s father.

Later in the ceremony, Athletic Director Andy Noel announced that the George Boiardi Memorial Fund had reached its fundraising goal of $1 million. Pending the approval of the University Board of Trustees, Ben DeLuca ’98 will become the George Boiardi Assistant Coach of Lacrosse, becoming the first endowed assistant coaching position in the country. DeLuca currently serves as Tambroni’s top assistant and the team’s defensive coordinator.

“Words can’t really do justice as to how honored I am to carry that title,” DeLuca said. “I couldn’t find a better title anywhere in the country. As an alumn[us], as a senior captain here, this is a dream come true. I’ll do my best to honor George and his family on a day to day basis.”

— Owen Bochner

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