September 22, 2010

Former Navy Lacrosse Player Killed, Another Injured in Afghanistan Crash

by Paul Krome | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff | June '05 LM: Not So Looney Bunch

Brendan Looney, pictured here in a 2004 Navy men's lacrosse game, was one of nine NATO troops killed Tuesday when a helicopter crashed in Afghanistan.

© John Strohsacker/

Brendan Looney, a 2004 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a three-year defensive midfielder for the Midshipmen, was among nine NATO troops killed Tuesday when a helicopter crashed in Afghanistan.

The helicopter carrying the U.S. servicemen crashed in the Zabul province in southern Afghanistan. According to media reports, injured in the crash was Andrew Dow, a 2007 Naval Academy graduate. Dow was a four-year defenseman on Navy’s lacrosse team. An investigation into the crash is underway, and NATO has said there were no reports of hostile fire.

Looney, 29, was the oldest of six lacrosse-playing children of Kevin and Maureen Looney. As a senior in 2004, Brendan teamed with brothers Steve, then a sophomore, and Billy, then a freshman, to lead Navy to a stirring run to the NCAA Division I championship game. With America rallying around its armed forces and service academies 14 months after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Mids captured the hearts of the lacrosse world in their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1999, nearly upsetting favored Syracuse in a 14-13 loss in the final before almost 44,000 fans in Baltimore.

Brendan Looney, a three-sport standout at DeMatha Catholic (Md.) High, was originally recruited to Navy for football. He switched to lacrosse in part for the opportunity to play with his younger brothers.

“It’s kind of funny,” he told Lacrosse Magazine’s Dana Czapnik for a feature story in the publication’s June 2005 issue. “[My brothers] followed me here, but then I followed them to lacrosse.”

“They’re happy-go-lucky guys, but they’re very, very competitive,” Navy head coach Richie Meade said in that feature. “Brendan is probably the fiercest of them all.”

Brendan Looney, a native of Silver Spring, Md., spent time at intelligence school after his graduation and was then initially stationed in Chinhae, South Korea. In addition to his parents and brothers, Brendan is survived in his immediate family by sisters Bridget, who played at Syracuse, Erin, who played at Pfeiffer College, and Kellie, a 2010 honorable-mention All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference selection at the Academy of the Holy Cross (Md.), and his wife, Amy.

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