When the United Women’s Lacrosse League was rolled out last year, it was marketed as an empowering vehicle for not only women’s sports, but women’s entrepreneurship. The team owners, the coaches, and league staff were all women for the first year of the league.
Which makes today’s announcement of Gary Gait as the UWLX’s second commissioner a game-changer.
Gait is a transformative figure in the game of lacrosse — both men’s and women’s. He was an assistant coach for Maryland during the team’s run of seven consecutive national titles, currently coaches the Syracuse women, and will be coaching Team Canada’s women this summer in the World Cup.
“I believe female athletes should be provided the same opportunities in sports as men, and I want my daughter to be able to play at a professional level like her male counterparts have had for more than 20 years,” Gait says in a statement released today. “I want to support UWLX efforts in any way I can.”
But it’s not just in coaching that Gait could help out; he is connected with a number of companies that can help sponsor the league going forward. He has worked with the Toyota Motor Company for years, and has a hand in deBeer/Gait Lacrosse, an equipment manufacturer.
As for now, however, he is serving as interim commissioner and as head of the search committee for his replacement. And I hope his service benefits the league for decades to come.