FCA Lacrosse honored Brendan Looney with the 2018 Peter Kohn Award. Looney’s father, Kevin Looney, received the award in his son’s honor at the U.S. Lacrosse National Convention in Philadelphia.
Upon learning his son had been selected for the honor, Kevin Looney said, “I cannot thank you enough for choosing to honor our son, Brendan, with the 2019 Peter Kohn Award. I am proud to say that my son embodied everything that this award stands for. He was a natural-born leader, always helping to lead on the sports field, lead his siblings and lead his SEAL Team brothers into combat. My son was a guy who always stepped up above and beyond. Brendan was committed to protecting his country, our religious freedom and our way of life. On September 21, 2010, Brendan was killed in action doing just that. His character, integrity and the way he lived his life has been an inspiration to so many. Brendan’s legacy was his life and his life was his gift. Devastating as his loss has been to all who know and loved him, it means so much to the Looney family that his legacy continues to live on and will be remembered through honors such as this.”
FCA Lacrosse Director Ryan Horanburg was thrilled for the Looney family, adding “I couldn’t be more excited to honor a great man of faith. I personally can remember the energy in the air during the 2004 National Championship game when Navy Lacrosse led by Brendan, Billy and Stephen took the field. What a feeling, what a game and what an honor to watch them play for a higher purpose that day. Brendan truly exemplified what the Peter Kohn Award is all about. We are thankful for the impact he had on so many and continues to have in the lacrosse community.”
Brendan Looney was the oldest of six siblings, always looking out for his younger brothers and sisters. Family was extremely important to him. He was a natural leader, leading by example to those around him. This ability to lead translated over to his passion while growing up and into sports, but early on didn’t include the sport of lacrosse. Looney arrived at the Naval Academy in 2000 for football, however, during his sophomore year, he decided to switch to lacrosse. Although he had no experience in lacrosse, Looney tried out and made Navy’s nationally ranked team. Two seasons later, Brendan with his brothers Billy (’07) and Stephen (’06), led Navy to the national championship. Although Navy fell in overtime, the importance of family, teamwork and maximum effort reached its pinnacle that year and was evident to all in the lacrosse community.
Former Navy lacrosse coach Richie Meade described Brendan as a “great teammate, great friend and fierce leader.” But at the end of the day, he led with love in all areas, especially toward his brothers and teammates.
Looney graduated in 2004 and launched his career in the U.S. Navy. On September 21, 2010, 10 days prior to his return to the U.S., his SEAL team helicopter went down in the mountains of Afghanistan. On that day, he gave his best self to our country.
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. The subject of a documentary chronicling his life, 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 25-plus 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 scripture, “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.