Q&a With G.w. Mix:

Still pumping lacrosse

LACROSSE: General manager of L.A. Riptide and Newport Coast resident is excited to see game continue to build.

August 16, 2008|By Steve Virgen

G.W. Mix, a Newport Coast resident, is definitely looking forward to Saturday.

That's when his team, the Los Angeles Riptide, plays in the New Balance Zip Major League Lacrosse semifinals against the Denver Outlaws. Mix, who also heads up a local youth program, the Newport Beach Dawgs, is the general manager of the Riptide. They'll be playing at Harvard Stadium in Boston. The winner will play in the championship game the next day. Sunday's championship game will air live on ESPN2.

Last year, the Riptide reached the title game and lost.

As Mix anxiously awaits Saturday, he took time out to talk with the Daily Pilot.

Question: How much has lacrosse interest grown recently?

Answer: I have a youth program called Newport Beach Surf Dawgs. We started it five years ago. It started second through fourth grade then picked up to sixth, seventh and eighth.


It's been amazing to watch the girls in this area. We got things going about five years ago. We had about less than 30 for the first year and now we have more than 200 playing. High-school wise, I think, there are more than 24 CIF teams in Orange County, two years ago there were none. That gives you an idea.

It's been played in San Diego for awhile, and in Los Angeles, too. But Orange County has taken over both those counties combined.

Q: Why do you think the game has grown?

A: It's just an exciting sport. It's something new. The kids see it and they love it. We have rarely had a kid try it and not come back. It has the excitement of soccer and basketball and football. These kids, they love to be entertained.

[Lacrosse is] overtaking a lot of sports. It's not a sport that you stand around a lot. I grew up playing it back east. You play a lot of it over there, even before Little League. I spent a number of years coaching it collegiately.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I grew up outside of Baltimore. I went to Gillman High, a traditional power in lacrosse. I was an assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania for five years, and I was the head coach of Franklin and Marshall College and then head coach at Penn for four years.

Q: When was your last season of coaching?

A: My last season coaching was 1994. It was time to figure out how I was going to feed my family. Back then the salaries weren't what they are now. I went to work for ESPN in Charlotte, N.C. I was the director of their events division and the director of marketing. I still do some work for them. I help manage the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl every year.

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