December 23, 2016
David Gross, the first commissioner in MLL history, will step down after the 2017 season. (John Strohsacker)
David Gross, the first commissioner in MLL history, will step down after the 2017 season. (John Strohsacker)

Gross to Step Down as MLL Commissioner After 2017 Season

from press release

BOSTON — David Gross, the first commissioner in the history of Major League Lacrosse (MLL), announced Friday he will step down following the 2017 season.

"It has been such an incredible honor to serve as commissioner of Major League Lacrosse for all these years," Gross said. "To be a part of building a league from the ground up has been rewarding and has given meaning to my professional working career."

"In my almost 40 years of business, I have never met anyone who defines the words honest, hardworking and reliable more than Dave," MLL founder Jake Steinfeld said. "He is truly a man of his word. Thanks to Dave's tireless efforts on behalf of the league for the past 13 years, MLL is on a course for growth and prosperity. The league will miss Dave and all he has brought to the position."

Gross assumed the commissioner's role in 2004. Prior to that, he was the vice president and general manager of the Boston Cannons from 2001-2003, the first three years in the history of the franchise. He then became the COO of MLL before being named commissioner.

In 13 seasons at MLL, Gross has expanded the visibility of the sport through national television agreements with ESPN, CBS Sports Network and a multitude of regional cable partners. He also oversaw the launch of the Lax Sports Network in January 2016, the first digital video network solely dedicated to covering all things lacrosse.

"I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge three individuals who I will always owe a debt of gratitude," Gross said. "Matt Dwyer, the founding owner of the Cannons, brought me into MLL in November 2000. Without his faith in me, I never would have had this opportunity. Next, MLL founder Jake Steinfeld had the vision, along with Dave Morrow and Tim Robertson, to create MLL when a professional field lacrosse league did not exist. Over the past 13 years, Jake has been my biggest supporter, my closest confidant, and most importantly, a great friend.

"Lastly, I need to thank New Balance chairman Jim Davis for what he has done for me personally, for the league and the sport of lacrosse. There are countless other individuals that I need to thank, and fortunately, I will have the next eight months to let them know how important they have been to me during my term as commissioner."

The MLL brand grew under Gross by aligning with the most recognized brands in lacrosse, such as New Balance, Warrior, Brine, Cascade, STX, Maverick and StringKing. He also guided the league to the national forefront through partnerships with iconic brands such as Coca-Cola and Powerade.

"I decided to announce my decision now so the league has ample time to hire a new commissioner and allow for a smooth transition," Gross said. "I believe in MLL and will do everything I can to make my final season as commissioner the best one in league history. We have an amazing product with the greatest players in the world."

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