Hall of Fame Inductee Kris Snider Calls Lacrosse a 'Constant Source of Joy'

On Saturday evening at the Grand Lodge in Cockeysville, Md., Kris Snider will be inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a truly great contributor.

Following an All-American playing career at the University of Virginia, Snider has spent four decades contributing to the growth of the sport at the youth and high school level. He is a founding member of Washington High School Boys’ Lacrosse Association and served on its leadership board for 14 years.

He is also a founding member of Queen Anne Youth Lacrosse, the Seattle Metro Youth Lacrosse Association and the Washington Chapter of USA Lacrosse.

On the national level, Snider served 10 years on the USA Lacrosse Board of Directors and on the Men’s Game Committee and designed the 9/11 Memorial at USA Lacrosse headquarters. He also served as the Area Chair for boys’ lacrosse for 15 years and coached multiple youth and high school teams for over 20 years.

Snider has been previously inducted into five halls of fame, including three USA Lacrosse chapter halls of fame, as well as the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame and the Suffern High School Hall of Fame, both located in New York.

Ahead of his induction into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Snider joined USA Lacrosse’s Paul Ohanian via Zoom to discuss her life in lacrosse. Below is an excerpt of their conversation.

Paul Ohanian: As an East Coast product, what took you out West?

Kris Snider: Well, interestingly enough, one of my high school teammates from New York started playing when I did, but he was a year older, a guy named Michael Kinnaman, he had moved out to Seattle because his older brother had, so he came out and then a couple other friends that I knew from high school. So, there’s three or four high school buddies of mine that were out here. And he called and said, ‘Hey, why don’t you come out and check out Seattle?’ And I was in. I was a landscape architect in grad school at the time. Everything grows here. It’s just this beautiful place. I said, ‘Well, I should go see that place.’ So, one summer, I just drove across country. I don’t know if you remember this. But back in the day, they had these things called driveways where you could go into the paper, this one little section of the classifieds, and it would say driveways, and somebody said, ‘I need my car driven to Seattle.’ So, I met this woman up in D.C., she gave me the keys to her car and it’s the first time I’d ever driven cross country and stopped and saw friends along the way. It was just an amazing, personal journey all by myself. And then I ended up in Seattle and just couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. I just loved it right away and played lacrosse with those guys in the summer, and just said, ‘Wow, I got to come back here.’ So, and I was still in graduate school, so I had a couple more years in my graduate school to do but when I got out of school, I worked for a year or two in Charlottesville, but then said, told my wife we gotta give Seattle a try. I just love it. I love it here.

Paul Ohanian: How did you get involved with the 9/11 memorial at USA Lacrosse?

Kris Snider: Yeah, I gotta give Steve [Stenersen] credit for most of it. Because, not long after the event happened, he called me and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got to figure a way to do this.’ This is back when [USA Lacrosse was] at the Johns Hopkins site. And I did some designs for that. And I think there was another landscape architect on a committee or in the board. So, he and I kind of went back and forth on some ideas, and we set something up and gave it to Steve. … I was into it and just really wanted to try to do something abstract enough that it wasn’t too literal. But it also gave people once they kind of get into this space, this kind of sense of the power of life and our sport and how it relates to those that we’ve lost. I think the one of the best parts was working with the local guy here who built the big spirit sticks. Just this great metal worker guy, you know, he didn’t know anything about lacrosse, but I took the sketch down to his really big industrial building and said, ‘Hey, do you think he could build one of these? Here’s our budget.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I’d love to do that.’

Paul Ohanian: How would you describe your overall lacrosse experience?

Kris Snider: This could be hard. I get emotional about this. First of all, I started playing in eighth grade, so I was like 14, or something like that. So 52 years ago, you know, I got into the sport. So I mean, more than two thirds of it has been spent with lacrosse in my life. So I really don’t know what I’d be without the sport. You know, I met so many amazing people from my high school coach to amazing people at UVA to all these great volunteers and friends in Washington. And then back again at USA Lacrosse headquarters, and all the volunteers that I met coming back to those committees. I mean, I don’t know if I could have scripted a better life and lacrosse. It’s just a constant source of joy.


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