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Glenn N. Thiel

Hall of Fame


Inducted 1965


Syracuse University

Glenn "Nick" Thiel started playing lacrosse in the eighth grade, playing on sandlot and junior high school teams and playing with and against many Native Amercians from the Onondaga Reservation. While still in junior high school he played with the Syracuse Crescent Lacrosse Club.

In high school Thiel played for four years at Central High School in Syracuse and served as team captain in 1929. His high school team was undefeated for the last two years. Thiel was also an outstanding football and basketball player while in high school.

When he moved to Syracuse University he played freshman lacrosse under Roy Simmons Sr. and then three years of varsity under Dr. Laurie Cox. In 1932, Thiel played for Syracuse against Rutgers in the Olympic Playoff Series, and then the next year he captained the Syracuse team.

Thiel also had the distinction of playing in the first intercollegiate box lacrosse game, which saw Cornell beat Syracuse 12-7 in the Rochester Armory before 6,000 spectators. 

After leaving college, Thiel assisted Roy Simmons Sr. at Syracuse and developed, manufactured, and sold early types of face masks. As a member of the Monks Head Society he was presented the trophy for the most outstanding lacrosse player at Syracuse during his senior year.

Thiel moved to Penn State as head lacrosse coach in 1935 and continued through 1956. In his 22 years of coaching he had 11 winning seasons. Thiel was a charter member of the USLCA when it was organized in 1936, vice president in 1942 and 1943, and president in 1944 and 1945. He originated and edited the Lacrosse Newsletter from 1946-51. This publication followed the Lacrosse News, which was started by Dinty Moore in 1924 and Frenchy Julien, and with the help of Peck Auer, continued its publication through 1940.

Thiel was awarded the trophy as the person who had done the most for lacrosse in 1945 and 1947. He was a member of the rules committee from 1946-51, and recodified the rules book in 1948. He served two years as assistant coach of the North All-Star Team in 1941 and 1943, and was head coach in 1942, 1946, and 1949. He was elected secretary-treasurer of the Lacrosse Association in 1949 and served in that capacity through 1956. Thiel wrote an annual article for the Lacrosse Guide for nine years. He was elected to the executive board of the USILA in 1956 and served on that board through 1959.

During his career at Penn State, Thiel served as head lacrosse coach, instructor of physical education, assistant professor, and was in charge of the physical training program for ASTP-AAF and the V-12 program. He also became an associate professor in 1945 and a full professor in 1950 and was appointed administrative assistant to the Dean of the College of Physical Education and Athletics in 1959. He retired from Penn State as an athletics administrator in 1974.

Nick Thiel passed away in 1988.