Bob Rule, former Manhasset lacrosse coach and Hall of Fame member, dies at 73

Bob Rule, former Manhasset lacrosse coach and Hall of Fame member, dies at 73
Bob Rule. The 73-year-old former Manhasset teacher, coach, and lacrosse legend died on Nov. 6. (Photo courtesy of Bob Rule)

Bob Rule, a former Manhasset teacher, coach and lacrosse legend, died Nov. 6 at 73.

Rule died at his Rhode Island home, where he had lived since retiring from Manhasset High School in 2014. He taught history and coached for four decades at Manhasset.

“Schools like Manhasset allow kids to tap into their own resources, to find a niche for themselves,” Rule told Blank Slate Media in 2014. “You could see the kids have a chance to blossom here. There’s plenty of opportunity here at Manhasset, and that’s why I find this community to be so special.”

Rule was born on Jan. 5, 1949, in Lowell, Mass.. He grew up playing hockey, but when his family relocated to Manhasset, he began playing lacrosse.

Rule finished his high school career with an 84% save percentage and an average of 2.17 goals against. He was also named All-Nassau County in 1967.

He later joined Cornell University’s lacrosse team where he won the first-ever NCAA lacrosse championship in 1971. A backup goaltender on the 1969-70 Cornell hockey team, he is the only athlete in Cornell history to have played on two national championship teams.

Rule was also the starting goalie for the United States Men’s National Team when they won the World Cup in 1974.

Later, as Manhasset’s lacrosse coach, Rule guided seven teams to the state finals and four state titles. He had described returning to Manhasset as a perfect fit.

“Coming back to Manhasset was absolutely going back to the best school I could go back to, both academically and for lacrosse — I was in heaven,” he said. “I have never felt that I didn’t make the perfect choice. I loved what I did, and when you love what you do, it truly doesn’t feel like work.”

Many regarded Rule as a premier goalie coach who would share his knowledge with anyone who sought it. He also wrote “Power Goaltending” and obtained several patents for new goalie stick designs.

Rule was inducted into the Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986, the Long Island Metro Chapter Hall of Fame in 1988, the Manhasset Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1991 and the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Rule told Blank Slate Media in 2014 that he valued his program’s reputation among top college coaches.

“I was able to help a lot of kids get into schools they may not have gotten into otherwise,” he said. “As a lacrosse coach, that’s what I got the most satisfaction from.”

Rule’s daughter, DK, his brothers Jack, Dicky and Paul and his wife, Dorothy Conroy, survive him.

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