Christianne Malone, a longtime volunteer and advocate for growing lacrosse in underrepresented communities, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 USA Lacrosse Homer R. Schwartz Leadership Award.
Based in Michigan, Malone is president and co-founder for Detroit United Lacrosse, which uses lacrosse to unify the youth from Detroit’s many neighborhoods by promoting character education, personal development, and pathways to prosperity. Previously, Malone was the founder of Detroit’s first lacrosse program, Detroit City Lacrosse, which later merged with Detroit United Lacrosse.
Malone is an active lacrosse leader both regionally and nationally, including service as a USAL Coaches Development Program clinician for Detroit area physical education teachers, as well as a coordinator for Sankofa clinics that provide free lacrosse instruction and participation opportunities to youth. Additionally, she is a USA Lacrosse Level 3 certified coach and a volunteer member of the USA Lacrosse board of directors.
“Christianne has spearheaded lacrosse growth in the city of Detroit since 2009, and provided hundreds, if not thousands, of kids with the opportunity to play the game of lacrosse with low barriers to entry,” said Matt Burke, Midwest Region Manager for USA Lacrosse. “She is not only an amazing program leader, but also a mentor and friend.”
Malone’s lifelong association with lacrosse began as a player in the sixth grade, and continued through middle school, high school, and as a college club player. After graduating from Xavier University, she returned to Michigan and became the state’s first black female to serve as a high school girls’ varsity coach, a role she had for 10 years prior to launching Detroit City Lacrosse.
As an active professional, Malone has also served as a board member for the Michigan Chapter of USA Lacrosse, as a member of the Detroit Recreation Advisory Commission, and currently as a leader on the Detroit Police Athletic League’s Girls Changing the Game Committee, which is dedicated to getting more girls involved in sports.
“Through the years, Christianne has often served as a sounding board for USA Lacrosse programming ideas and provided valuable advice that helped mold the direction of a project,” Burke said. “Detroit, the state of Michigan, and the national lacrosse community as a whole are all are extremely lucky to have Christianne as an advocate for our game.”
The USA Lacrosse Homer Schwartz Award was created in 2014 to recognize a local USA Lacrosse leader who embodies the same qualities of passion and dedication that Homer provided as a longtime USA Lacrosse volunteer. Malone becomes the 10th recipient of the award.
Prior winners of the Homer R. Schwartz Award are:
2014 - Jim Old, Hampton Roads Chapter
2014 - Tamara Boots (posthumous), St. Louis Chapter
2015 - Harry Jacobs, Long Island Metro Chapter
2016 - Don Aiello, Northern California Chapter
2017 - Clark Bell, Michigan Chapter
2018 – Scott Growney, Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter
2019 – Donna Rose (posthumous), South Florida Chapter
2020 – Dave Cerny, North Coast Ohio Chapter
2021 – Mike Nelson, Long Island Metro Lacrosse Foundation
Homer Schwartz served as president of the Potomac Chapter of USA Lacrosse for 14 years and passed away in 2012. Due in large measure to his enthusiastic leadership, selfless service and contagious love for the game, Potomac’s membership grew from 1,200 to 10,000 during his tenure.