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Hall of Fame
| Feb 21, 2024

Hall of Famer William Hooper Passes Away

By USA Lacrosse Press Release

William ‘Billy’ Hooper, an elite high school and college player in the 1940s and 50s and one of the oldest members of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, passed away Tuesday in Baltimore. He was 96 years old.

Hooper learned to play lacrosse at St. Paul's School in Baltimore, and played four years of varsity lacrosse in which, unbelievably, the total record of the team was 59-0. During that time, Hooper led St. Paul’s to the MSA championship four years in a row (1943 to 1946), and was named a second team All-Maryland player each year.

A talented all-around athlete, Hooper also earned All-Maryland honors in football and basketball, and coached the St. Paul's JV lacrosse team in 1947.  All told, he earned 12 varsity letters and helped lead the Crusaders to six different championships. In his senior year, Hooper served as captain for all three teams and at graduation, he was awarded the Coaches’ Cup and Spirit Award for his effort and excellence in athletics.

He was later recognized for his accomplishments by being selected as one of the members of St. Paul’s inaugural Hall of Fame induction class in 2008.

“This is such a sad day for our school and lacrosse program," said Rick Brocato, longtime men's lacrosse coach at St. Paul's. “Mr. Hooper was a really good guy with a great sense of humor. He turned out to be one of our biggest fans throughout the decades. He is a legend, without question.”

Hooper attended the University of Virginia from 1947 to 1951, and was captain of the varsity lacrosse team in 1949 and 1950. He was a second team All-American for two years (1948, 1949) and a first team All-American for two years (1950, 1951). Hooper played on the 1951 South All-Star team which lost 12-11 to the North squad despite his five assists.

After college, Hooper played with the Mt. Washington Wolfpack club and served as the first lacrosse coach at Towson University (then Towson State), inaugurating the program in 1959. He later coached at Baltimore University, and also officiated for three years.

In addition to being inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 1975 and being a member of the St. Paul’s Hall of Fame, Hooper was also inducted into the University of Virginia Hall of Fame in 1976 and the Maryland Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.