Steve Govett Lacrosse Executive and Builder par Excellence
Editor's Note - The pandemic has resulted in activities across the World being delayed or cancelled for the past 20 months, including countless events in the Canadian lacrosse community. However, on Saturday, November 13, 2021 - the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame held a double cohort Induction ceremony for the years 2020 and 2021. A total of 4 players, 2 builders, 1 veteran and 1 team were inducted for each year.
This is the 12th of 16 feature articles pertaining to the most recent teams, players, builders, or veterans inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. The following article highlights lacrosse Builder Steve Govett. He played both box and field lacrosse experiencing success at high levels. At the end of his playing career, Steve moved into management becoming a renowned and immensely successful business executive. Steve Govett was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2021 honoured in the Builder category.
Born in Burnaby, Steve Govett has had a long and storied lacrosse career which is not yet over. Although he had a fine career as a player, it is his decades of excellence off the floor and field in managing organizations where Govett has made his mark. So successful, Steve Govett is joining the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in the Builder category.
When asked his reaction on hearing he will be inducted into the CLHOF, Steve Govett’s reaction was multi-layered and somewhat emotional, “Probably several stages, first disbelief, second speechless, then a great feeling of humble gratitude. And finally thinking about the great many people that have allowed me to stand proudly on their shoulders for an honor like this. Knowing that my parents would have been so proud to learn of this day, and are somewhere smiling along with my siblings that have been so supportive of a crazy life made from a childhood dream”.
As a player, Steve Govett played Junior “A” lacrosse for the Burnaby Cablevision organization. Over five seasons, Steve collected 114 points in 87 games, while accumulating 368 penalty minutes. After graduating from Junior lacrosse, Steve played Senior lacrosse for the Coquitlam Adanacs (1989-91) and Burnaby (1992). He played 112 games, collecting 114 points and 305 penalty minutes. He was considered a good box lacrosse player who had a solid career.
His career extended into field lacrosse (1990-1993) with the Radford University Highlanders located in southwestern Virginia. Govett was the Highlanders' all-time leading scorer, tallying 118 goals during his collegiate career.
Steve Govett’s field lacrosse career included playing for Team Canada in the 1994 and 1998 World Games. Steve was acknowledged for his leadership role for Canada in bronze and silver medal-winning performances.
Professionally, Steve Govett played for the Philadelphia Wings through 1994–1998. During his five-year pro career, the Wings won three league championships.
When his days as a player ended, Steve Govett moved into team management beginning with the Philadelphia Wings as General Manager in 1999. Other stints included the roles of Executive Vice President and General Manager of Washington Power (2000–2002). From 2002–2017 Steve Govett was the Colorado Mammoth President and General Manager. Most recently, Mr. Govett became the President of the San Diego Seals of the NLL.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Steve Govett has served as Chairman of the National lacrosse League Board of Governors, and been Member of NLL committees including Executive Committee, Competition Committee, Expansion Committee, Labor Relations Committee, Finance Committee, Scheduling Committee and Hall of Fame Committee.
Steve has also served as General manager of the Canadian Men’s Field Lacrosse National Team in 2006, 2007, 2014, 2018, and announced for 2022. He served as Team Canada Indoor General Manager in 2007. He also served as the General Manager of the US Indoor National team for the 2002 Heritage Cup, and GM of the US Indoor National team for the Inaugural World Championships in 2003.
Accolades for Steve Govett include his 2015 induction into the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame as a Builder. The following year, he was recognized as a Player and inducted into Radford University Hall of Fame of 2016.
Steve Govett has extensive experience in international competition, including serving on the board of the World Lacrosse Federation.
Govett was named the NLL’s Executive of the Year in 2004, and has served as a long-time contributor to the League on multiple business fronts. He works closely with the Commissioner to ensure the long-term vitality of the NLL and its teams, and has served as the NLL’s Chairman of the Board of Governors on more than one occasion.
Having been so deeply involved in so many aspects of lacrosse, when asked to offer highlights of his Hall of Fame career, Steve Govett replied, “There are so many highlights, too many to spotlight here, the lion’s share of the moments are the daily interactions with so many very special people in lacrosse, some of those people are very well known and others not so much, some of the moments were amazingly positive and exciting, and others were difficult and challenging, but each of those moments shaped a career as a steward for the growth of the game that only happens in the accumulation of those moments with amazing people”.
Being the consummate professional that he is, Steve Govett is quick to acknowledge those who impacted his tremendous success as a lacrosse builder. He emphatically commented, “So many people, far too many to name, over a 35–40-year career in this great sport, but a few stand out, they have been guides, mentors, motivators, therapists, and partners. Very special acknowledgement for Jack Crosby, Dave Huntley, Gary Gait, Josh Gross, Joe Tsai, and Brian Lemon. Countless more NLL owners, GMs, Assistant GMs, Coaches, Players, and hardworking staff as teammates, coworkers, and competitors have shaped and driven my pathway through this ever-evolving world of professional lacrosse. I can’t thank them all enough”..
Mr. Govett emphasised, “Most importantly, honors like this aren’t possible without an amazing partnership; my wife, Eileen, faced every challenge and opportunity that this game threw at us with a smile and an encouraging, “YES, let’s do it”, that always made going home to her the best part of my days. If there was a Hall of Fame for teachers, she’s in it, and every day she has taught and guided me to keep striving for greatness. I am blessed with two of the greatest motivators in my life, they are my two biggest fans, I woke up every day wanting the game to be a better place for them to play, and love, and cheer loudly for. Win or lose, two people jumped into my arms every game, no matter how painful the lows, or how amazing the highs, Mackenzie and Jake, are always in my mind pushing me to be better, I couldn’t ask for a better home team than Eileen, Mack and Jake.
Steve Govett was a force on the floor and field during his days as a player. However, he has become a renowned award winning sports business executive. So successful, Steve Govett is deservedly being inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in the Builder category - Class of 2021.
Written by Rad Joseph - Member of Major Series Lacrosse Media team