Chris Hupfeldt, a longtime national volunteer with USA Lacrosse and an icon in the Philadelphia lacrosse community, died on Saturday.
Hupfeldt was an assistant general manager for the 1998 U.S. Men’s National Team and then served as the general manager for the 2002 and 2006 teams, helping guide teams that won two gold medals and one silver. Hupfeldt served as chair of the U.S. Men’s National Team Committee and also volunteered on the Men’s Game Committee for USA Lacrosse.
A native of Baltimore, Hupfeldt played college lacrosse at Washington College, but settled into the Philadelphia area after graduation. He continued playing at the club level and eventually became the general manager for the Eagle’s Eye and MAB Philadelphia team club teams. He was an executive with the United States Club Lacrosse Association, serving as president from 1992 to 1998, and was extremely active with the Ashbee youth lacrosse program. He and his wife, Carole, ran the Competitive Edge retail store for years.
“Quite simply, Chris Hupfeldt was the MVP (Most Valuable Person) in Philadelphia lacrosse for almost four decades, touching almost every aspect of lacrosse in the region,” Bob Mongeluzzi, a former Penn player and longtime coach and volunteer in the Philadelphia area, told PhillyLacrosse.com. “He had the go-to lacrosse store when that was the commercial and cultural center of the Philadelphia lacrosse universe. He was the organizing and driving force behind the Eagle’s Eye Lacrosse Club and assembled perhaps the greatest lacrosse teams in Pennsylvania history. He was one of the organizing forces of the summer lacrosse league of Philadelphia and of Philadelphia’s participation in the Vail Shootout.
“He was the heart and soul of Ashbee Lacrosse, the Lower Merion youth program. He was an impactful force behind the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association. He was team manager for multiple USA World Champions. He was everything and everywhere in Philly lacrosse, all at once. He’s been a giant of lacrosse whose contributions have impacted hundreds of players and their families. He didn’t do it alone. His loving wife, Carole, and his boys Chris and Reilly, were with him at every stop on his journey and are as much of the fabric of the game as he was. His lasting legacy is that of a man who loved lacrosse deeply and passionately and whose love and passion helped grow the game he loved in Philadelphia. We’ve lost a giant and a legend of Philadelphia lacrosse.”
“His selfless dedication to the Philly lacrosse community, the United States Club Lacrosse Association and to the U.S. Men’s National Team program since the early 80’s was extraordinary,” said Skip Lichtfuss, director of the national teams and high performance for USA Lacrosse. “It was never about him, but rather those he represented and supported. I considered him a trusted colleague and collaborator. Although raised in Baltimore, his heart, pride and spirit resided firmly in the Philadelphia lacrosse community. I’ll miss our chats.”
Hupfeldt, whose sons Chris and Reilly both played collegiately at Penn, was inducted into the USA Lacrosse Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter Hall of Fame in 2015.