(August 7, 2017)… Rochester Knighthawks Owner and General Manager Curt Styres announced today that Marshall Abrams is returning to the Rochester Knighthawks as an assistant coach. In 2018, he will begin his inaugural season behind a National Lacrosse League bench with his former team.
“It will be fun. I want to do my best to help out the team,” said the 39-year-old Abrams, who agreed to a one-year deal. “It’s like being a player; you are still part of a team and have a role to play. I will do my best to fill that role.”
During his playing career, the Onondaga Nation product was a stalwart on the Rochester defense for eight seasons (2002-08, 2010). Abrams appeared in 96 games and collected seven goals, 40 assists and 413 loose balls. During the 2006 campaign, he was named to the East Division roster for the NLL All-Star Game. The following year, he was a key member of the Knighthawks’ NLL Championship team.
“It was a great time,” said Abrams, as he reflected on his playing days in Rochester. “What I remember the most is the friendships I made with my teammates and the people I met. I had a lot of great memories there.”
Abrams broke into the NLL in 2001 with the Columbus Landsharks and was named to the All-Rookie Team. The following season, he was acquired by the Knighthawks in a four-player deal. In his NLL career, he played in 110 games and recorded eight goals, 44 assists and 528 loose balls.
“Marshall is one of the best to ever wear the teal and purple,” said Knighthawks scout Stuart Brown. “He is well respected in the lacrosse community, and a person who our players can learn from. I am excited for the opportunity to work with Marshall and welcome him to the Knighthawks staff.”
Abrams joins three of his former Rochester teammates on the Knighthawks’ bench: head coach Mike Hasen, and assistant coaches Pat O’Toole and Mike Accursi. He is also reunited with Jody Gage, the Knighthawks VP of Player Personnel, and Duane Jacobs, the team’s Director of Player Development.
“Marshall was an unbelievable player,” said Gage. “I really loved his compete level; he brought it every night. He has succeeded at the college and pro levels, and coaching in juniors. He has done it at all levels. He knows the game really well. It’s great to see him back with the Knighthawks.”
Abrams played his college lacrosse at Syracuse University (1997-2000) and was a three-time All-American. In 2000, he was named the Defenseman of the Year. In addition, he was selected to the NCAA All-Tournament team in 1999 and 2000. In 2000, Abrams helped the Orange capture the Division I National Championship.
Internationally, the defenseman won silver medals at back-to-back World Indoor Lacrosse Championships (2003, 2007). In 2007, he served as one of the alternate captains for the Iroquois Nationals.
During the final years of his NLL career, Abrams shifted his focus in the summer to coaching. He worked as an assistant coach for the Junior “A” Six Nations Arrows from 2007-09. He was promoted to head coach in 2010, which is a position he would hold until 2014. Abrams won two Minto Cups with the Arrows, earning his first in 2007 and his last in 2014.
Being a former Knighthawk and having success with the Arrows made Abrams an ideal candidate for the assistant coaching position.
“I have known Marshall for a long time,” said Jacobs about his cousin and new co-worker. “He stepped away from the game for a bit. He put a lot of work in with the Junior ‘A’ Arrows after his playing career, and won two championships with them. He has a lot of experience at the junior level, which I think is very good experience for any coach to develop themselves.
“It’s a great hire. He is a former Knighthawk and it’s good to have that relationship as a coach. He is going to be a good addition to the staff.”
After a brief hiatus from coaching, Abrams is back behind a bench which suits the former defenseman just fine.
“Playing lacrosse was something I really enjoyed,” he said. “Coaching allows me to continue to be a part of the game and give back what I learned.”