George A. Kruse (1955-1993)
One of the finest and most respected players (and officials) in Southeastern Pennsylvania
George Kruse hailed from Long Island, New York and was an outstanding attackman at West Babylon High School (from 1971-1973) and Kutztown University (from 1974-1977). He captained Kutztown's men's lacrosse team his senior year (1977), earned first team All-American honors and played in the USICLA North-South Game. During his tenure at Kutztown, George set an example of good sportsmanship while also setting individual season and career records in Division II.
George holds the all-time record for points per game in a single season (8.33 in 1977), and holds two of the other top ten spots (7.90 points per game in 1975; 7.46 points per game in 1976). He holds the national record in assists per game in a season (5.6 in 1975). His 276 total career points from 1975 to 1977 is 5th all-time in Division II history (an average of 7.9 points per game). He is 2nd all-time in total career assists in Division II (172 in 35 games, a 4.91 average per game). George was inducted into the Kutztown University Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.
After college, George moved to West Chester and earned a master's in administration from West Chester University. He worked as the director of human resources at the Brandywine campus of the Devereaux Foundation and also served as a counselor at Glen Mills School. George was the Head Coach at Malvern Preparatory School from 1987 to 1991. He married Barbara Francis-Kruse in June 1992.
George also turned his considerable talents toward officiating and soon become one of the best officials in Southeastern Pennsylvania. He officiated in both high school, where he was assigned to referee EPSLA championship games, and college, where he was an NCAA District III referee. On one occasion, George officiated the NCAA Division I men's semifinals -- a testament to his widely acknowledged competence, professionalism and reputation as an official. He was selected to officiate in the U19 World Series of Lacrosse in Adelaide, Australia in 1988. From 1985 to 1993, he served as President and Assignor of Officials for the Pennsylvania and Delaware Lacrosse Officials Association.
On September 11, 1993, while returning home only a few hours after his wife joined him in the Kutztown University Sports Hall of Fame, George was tragically killed in a head-on car accident caused by a drunk driver. The accident occured on Route 737 in Kutztown, not far from the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies that had just concluded.
As a lacrosse player, the numbers and statistics speak for themselves; George's records at Kutztown have withstood the NCAA's test of time. But more impressive than the stats was his status as a person, something that has similarly transcended the years. Anyone who knew George will tell you that, in addition to being one of the toughest and talented players they ever saw, he was also of the nicest guys they ever knew. He is sorely missed by his friends and family, but has been and will continue to be remembered and honored every year by the high school coaches in Southeastern Pennsylvania with an award given for sportsmanship in his name.
Each year, the George Kruse Memorial Scholarship for Athletics is also awarded to a deserving student/athlete at Kutztown University, another fitting tribute to a special individual who lives on in the record books and in the memories of those whose lives he touched.