At the most recent CUFLA Annual General Meeting, Ryan McGrath officially stepped down as commissioner of CUFLA, a post which he has held for nearly a decade.
McGrath, who became a father for the first time in 2014, made the choice to step down citing family commitments as the deciding factor. While he is excited about his new role as a dad, he is sad to have to step away after a long and successful career at the helm of CUFLA.
Ryan McGrath took over as commissioner of CUFLA in 2007 after three years as assistant commissioner under George Watt. In nearly ten years at the helm, McGrath has spearheaded many initiatives aimed at improving the league and broadening its exposure Canada-wide. In true Canadian fashion, however, McGrath refuses to take all the credit.
”Many people over the past thirty years have contributed to this great league,” McGrath wrote in an email. “In the decade I spent volunteering, the executive spent much time building CUFLA’s brand and growing the league and improving the league’s governance. We [now] have a website that tracks statistics, a communications director, and a Bagattaway Cup tournament where the host raises the bar each and every year.”
Under McGrath’s leadership, the Ontario University Field Lacrosse Association—as it then was—expanded to include teams in Quebec, thus necessitating a name change to the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association. McGrath says he is most proud of the success CUFLA has had on the field.
“I believe a lot of the work we’ve done over the past decade has significantly improved the product on the field [to the point that] many believe this is truly the best-run and most competitive amateur lacrosse league in Canada. All the work we’ve done was to contribute to a better league and to make CUFLA a great choice for student athletes. Many of our programs now receive funding from their schools and are recruiting the very best student-athletes from across North America. CUFLA is now a recognizable brand within the lacrosse community in Canada.”
Despite all of his accomplishments as the Commissioner, McGrath feels he leaves behind some unfinished business.
“My ultimate goal was to expand into Western and Eastern Canada, creating one strong united league from coast to coast,” McGrath wrote recently. “I believe the time is close to have a league that spans across Canada, and one true national championship – the Bagattaway Cup.”
While he is stepping away from the CUFLA executive, McGrath simply can not stay away from the game and the league he loves: “I’m a huge fan. I look forward to attending games and what I believe to be Canada’s premier field lacrosse tournament—the Bagattaway Cup.”
McGrath has a few parting words for the incoming executive: “Changes take time. Continue to improve the league and take it to a better place. I want nothing more than for the league to grow?and flourish.”
From all of CUFLA’s members, fans, family and friends, we wish Ryan the very best that life has to offer, and we look forward to seeing him around the fields this fall and in the years to come.?