Chris Bates, Mike Murphy and Brian Voelker built King of the Hill into one of the country’s top summer lacrosse tournaments during their decade of stewardship.
However, as full-time head coaches – Murphy and Voelker at the Division I collegiate level – those three founders have limited time to devote to keeping the event on the cutting edge of a very competitive market.
Enter Hogan’s Lacrosse, the premier boys’ lacrosse tournament organizer in the United States.
Hogan’s Lacrosse will take over management of King of the Hill with the goal of transforming the 2018 edition of the tournament into a more smoothly-run operation.
“King of the Hill was one of the early trendsetters on the club lacrosse circuit and has always enjoyed an outstanding reputation,” said Matt Hogan, founder and owner of Hogan’s Lacrosse. “We are excited to join forces with the founding directors to take the tournament to a higher level in every facet.”
Hogan’s Lax currently operates seven of the most successful and popular tournaments held nationwide. Matt Hogan and his staff have perfected all elements of running large-scale events with myriad moving parts.
“This is what Hogan’s Lacrosse does for a living and they have set the standard. Matt and his team bring a level of professionalism that will improve King of the Hill in all respects,” said Voelker, head coach at Drexel University. “Chris, Mike and I are very proud of what we have created with King of the Hill, but feel it is time to turn over the operational aspects to a proven management company.”
Nothing will change in terms of the basic elements that have made King of the Hill a favorite summertime stop for club lacrosse programs throughout the nation. McDaniel College will continue as the host site for the sixth straight year while the format will remain the same. As has been the case since King of the Hill debuted in 2006, there will be dozens of college coaches in attendance scouting for talent.
“Our primary goals from the outset were to give participating players the very best exposure and guarantee great competition for all teams,” Voelker said. “We take great pride in attracting a broad cross-section of coaches from every level.”
King of the Hill is a high school tournament featuring championship brackets for three divisions – Open, 2020 and 2021. Two days of round-robin competition sets up the playoffs with champs being crowned on the final morning.
McDaniel College offers the option of dormitory boarding along with dining hall meals. Westminster is a thriving town with plenty of hotel and restaurant options.
“McDaniel has been very welcoming and provides all the amenities necessary to conduct a first-class tournament,” said Voelker, adding that King of the Hill has access to eight well-maintained fields.
Hogan’s Lax will streamline and strengthen the tournament from an organizational standpoint in areas such as online registration, travel package offerings, logistics, field setup, game management and so forth.
“I think the ownership group is hoping that Hogan Lax brings the soup to nuts operations element that has become our signature,” Hogan said. “Our team is looking forward to delivering a high level of energy and excitement that will make King of the Hill an event and not just a tournament.”
Hogan’s Lacrosse achieves that through branding, bringing in industry vendors, securing sponsors and partners etc.
“What are clientele loves the most is that our communication in advance of the tournament is the best. People know exactly what is going on,” Hogan said.
Voelker and Murphy, the head coach at the University of Pennsylvania, have attended numerous Hogan’s Lax tournaments over the years while recruiting and have seen first-hand how well they are run. Bates, formerly head coach at Princeton University and now in the same capacity at Episcopal Academy, has also experienced Hogan’s Lax events from the perspective of a recruiter and participating coach.
“It makes a lot of sense to partner with Hogan’s Lacrosse because they can do things better than we have in the past. “I think a big part of what Hogan’s Lacrosse brings is top-notch customer service. Ultimately, this tournament is all about the players and our ultimate goal is to make the experience more enjoyable for them.”