Lacrosse Officials

The Charlottesville lacrosse community is greatly saddened by the news that US Lacrosse and Virginia Hall of Famer Bob Sandell passed away Friday evening at his home in the Charlottesville after a long illness. He was 83. The “Dean of Lacrosse Referees” in Central Virginia, Sandell spent nearly 30 years as an NCAA lacrosse, basketball, and football official, and was responsible for developing a lacrosse officials association in Central Virginia.

Sandell was head coach for the University of Virginia from 1955-1958, recording a 18-20 record for the Cavaliers. Previously, Sandell was an assistant coach at Washington & Lee in 1951. In 1957, he seconded Bill Pacy as the assistant coach for the South in the North-South all-star game. (Powered by NFL great Jim Brown’s five goals and two assists, North took the day, 14-10.)

While perhaps best known locally as a lacrosse official and mentor, Sandell was a standout player at St. Paul’s School in Baltimore, where in three years, Sandell’s teams racked up a stunning 44-0 record. Sandell was named to “All-Maryland” teams in 1944 and 1945.

In the book Lacrosse: Technique and Tradition, David Pietramala and Neil Grauer note that Sandell (#44) played for one of the best teams in the history of Johns Hopkins lacrosse, which won four consecutive National Collegiate Championships (shared with Navy in 1949). An impact midfielder, he earned a nod as a third-team All American in 1949; in 1950, he joined four other teammates as a first-team All American. The Blue Jays compiled a 31-4 record during Sandell’s term.

In 1984, Sandell was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. In 1993, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association awarded him the Frenchy Julien Service Award for outstanding and continuous service to the sport of lacrosse. In 1995, he was inducted into the Virginia Lacrosse Hall of Fame, along with local legends Rodney Rullman, Doyle Smith, and Doug Tarring. In 1998, he was inducted into the Virginia High School League Hall of Fame. He was inducted into his high school Hall of Fame in 2008.

Sandell’s family will receive visitors on Thursday evening from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Hill and Wood Funeral Home, First and Market Streets in Downtown Charlottesville. Many of his friends will gather to share memories afterwards at The Millmont Grille (the old Sloan’s) on Millmont Street) beginning 6:30 p.m. Thursday night.

A memorial service will be held Friday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at the Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3101 Fontaine Ave. in Charlottesville.

The Charlottesville Chapter of USLacrosse and extend condolences to all of Bob Sandell‚??s family and extended family. The area‚??s lacrosse community joins the Charlottesville/Albemarle community in general in keeping all members of the Sandell family in our prayers.