Rob Bordley ’66 has been elected to the 2020 class of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, recognizing his exceptional service to his players, the school, and the sport. US Lacrosse, which runs the Hall of Fame and oversees the selection process, called him “one of the most successful boys’ high school coaches ever.”
"This honor is really a tribute to all of the great players and coaches that I have had the privilege of working with over the last forty plus years,” said Bordley, who retired from teaching and coaching in 2018 and currently works in Landon’s Development Office – 50 years of service to the school.
His former players have a different view on why Bordley is so deserving.
“This honor recognizes a career of service rooted in Rob's two bedrock principles of life,” said Ian Healy ’00, who played for Bordley and then succeeded him as head varsity lacrosse coach at Landon. “Number one…He outworks everyone. Actions speak louder than words; choose your cliché about the importance of grinding, none of them adequately encapsulate Rob Bordley. He is the hardest working person I know and continues to inspire with his unflinching effort to do the best he can at whatever task he takes on.”
“Number two…He empowers others,” added Healy, also an Upper School Humanities and history teacher. “Whether through a challenging icy stare pushing a player beyond what he thought his limits were on the field, listening to a young coach's ideas about a game plan vs. (Georgetown) Prep, or a conversation about life and family in the bunker, Rob's career and life is a story of making other people better, and generations of people are living more fulfilling lives because of him.”
“Rob’s election to the Lacrosse Hall of Fame is a fitting and well-deserved honor,” said Sherman “Tiger” Joyce ’78, a former chair of Landon’s Board of Trustees. “As a former player who helped out as a coach over the years, I believe Rob’s greatest accomplishment was carrying out the school’s mission of character education as the ultimate teacher-coach-mentor.”
“Despite all the remarkable success of his teams over the years, his greatest success was his dedication to developing young men of character,” Joyce added. “And it didn’t matter whether you were an All-American, a role player, or a substitute. Those of us who were privileged to play for or coach with Rob have carried those essential lessons far beyond our playing days. And as a father, I couldn’t be prouder of the fact that my own two sons had the privilege of playing for Rob. It is a bond we will share forever.”
US Lacrosse compiled many statistics about Bordley’s accomplishments including the following:
- Bordley amassed a 655-123 record in 44 seasons at Landon, becoming one of just five coaches to surpass the 600-win milestone.
- He retired following the 2018 season with a career winning percentage of more than 84 percent.
- Bordley led Landon to 32 league championships during his tenure, including four undefeated seasons.
- His teams were ranked number one in the Washington metropolitan area 19 times.
- Bordley coached 47 high school All-Americans and produced 59 players named to the All-Metro first team.
- He also had 39 players who would go on to become collegiate All-Americans.
- Bordley was selected as both The Washington Post’s and the USLCA’s coach of the year five times and was recognized as the National Interscholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association (NILCA) man of the year in 2017.
- He also won the US Lacrosse Gerald J. Carroll Award in 2017 and was inducted previously into the US Lacrosse Potomac Chapter Hall of Fame in 2004.
“My dad possessed a relentless work ethic and was a fierce competitor,” said J.R. Bordley ’00, who also serves as associate head varsity lacrosse coach at Landon and teaches history in the Middle School. “He was always learning, always studying, meeting with college coaches, attending college practices, picking up new drills/concepts/teaching points, and attending coaching clinics in the area/region. The culture that he created was team first and individual second.”
"I can speak for myself and for countless other graduates of Landon," Mark Kovler ’09 told goprincetontigers.com. "There are a lot of people out there who would like to give a huge amount of thanks, appreciation, and gratitude to Coach Bordley for the type of person he crafted us into being, the type of player we became and the kind of citizen he expected us to be. There are a large number of people who would count Coach Bordley as one of the most influential people in their lives, and that is certainly true for me."