FCA's lacrosse ministry honored Steve Koudelka, head men’s lacrosse coach at Lynchburg College, with the 2022 Peter Kohn Award. Steve was presented with the award at the Intercollegiate Mens Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) Summit in Orlando, Florida on Friday, December 9, 2022.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this year’s Peter Kohn Service Award,” Koudelka said. “I am so thankful to those who nominated me for this prestigious award. I had the great fortune of knowing Peter back during the camp days and he was an amazing person to be around. To be on the same list with so many incredible people who have helped shape this great game is amazing. To be mentioned with Dr. Fred Opie — one of my assistant coaches at Gettysburg College — and Gettysburg Head Coach Janczyk is quite possibly the greatest honor I can receive. Besides my mom and dad, Coach Janczyk has had the biggest impact on my life. I am thankful to everyone I get to work with and coach at the University of Lynchburg. Our student-athletes mean the world to me and my family and serving them is an incredible honor and privilege. We have a special staff who believes in serving others and I am humbled to walk with so many great people.”
Added FCA Lacrosse Director Ryan Horanburg, “I could not be more excited to honor an incredible man who truly exemplifies what the Peter Kohn Award is all about. I am honored to have witnessed the impact that Coach Koudelka has had on many of his players during my 14 years as the Director of FCA Lacrosse. His impact on the lacrosse community through his teams, other men’s lacrosse coaches, and development of his players has been incredible to watch!”
Lynchburg Senior Defensemen Chip Quinn was excited to hear of Coach Koudelka’s recognition. “Coach ‘K’ is a great example of a humble servant leader that just does the right thing no matter what. The recognition is never a thought, whether it is picking up a piece of trash on campus to raising awareness and collecting donations for cancer research within the Lynchburg community. His love is sometimes a tough love, but nonetheless wants each and every one of his players to also be a great example of a godly servant leader in our community.”
Steve Koudelka established the Lynchburg men’s lacrosse program as a national powerhouse in his nearly three decades on the Lynchburg sidelines. Since his arrival prior to the 1997 season, Koudelka has recorded an overall record of 322-138, including 23 winning seasons. Lynchburg has advanced to the NCAA tournament 15 times with Koudelka at the helm and hoisted the Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship trophy nine times. He was named the 2015 USILA Division III Coach of the Year.
Koudelka’s Hornets added to the trophy case in 2022, laying claim to the program’s ninth ODAC championship and carrying the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, where the Hornets finished with a 15-5 record. Four Lynchburg players earned honorable mention All-America honors from the USILA.
Prior to assuming the head post at Lynchburg, Koudelka spent three years as graduate assistant coach at Gettysburg College under the discipleship of 1999 Peter Kohn Award Winner, Hank Janczyk. Koudelka was a two-time All-America goalkeeper at Gettysburg College where he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in the fall of 2006.
The Long Valley, N.J. native earned his bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg in 1993 and his master’s degree from Western Maryland College in 1996. He was one of just 12 goalkeepers invited to try out for the 1998 U.S. World Team. Koudelka played professionally for two seasons with the New Jersey Pride for Major League Lacrosse. Koudelka and his wife, Amy, have three children, Holly, Billy and Mary.
The Peter Kohn Award is named for one of the most beloved and unique figures in the lacrosse world. For 50 years, Kohn was connected to the sport of lacrosse. Kohn started as a field manager for the Park School in Baltimore in 1954. His role as team manager continued with the U.S. National Team from 1978 to 1998, the North-South All-Star game for over 25 years, club teams in the United States Club Lacrosse Association for more than 20 years, Middlebury College from 1981 to 2003 and numerous other lacrosse events over the years. The lacrosse field at Middlebury is named in his honor, and he was previously inducted into the U.S. Lacrosse New England Hall of Fame.
Kohn also served as a volunteer with FCA Lacrosse from 1988 until his death in 2009. He was, and still is, one of the most recognized figures in the game of lacrosse.
Each year, the Peter Kohn Award, established in 1998, is given to a member of the lacrosse community who best represents the verse, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13) and exemplifies the Christian principles of character, integrity, excellence and teamwork on and off the lacrosse field.
Photos courtesy of FCA Lacrosse and Lynchburg Athletics