Ryan Tucker, former Virginia captain and five-year MLL veteran announced his retirement on Monday.
“I believe it is time for me to step away and begin a new chapter in my career,” Tucker said in a statement released through the Bayhawks.
Tucker had spent the past three season on the Chesapeake Bayhawks after playing for the Boston Cannons and Atlanta Blaze.
“My decision to retire from the MLL was not taken lightly. I put much time and thought into choosing to stop playing. Primarily, I want to focus on new responsibilities that I have taken on as a teacher and coach at Norfolk Academy,” Tucker said. “I am now the head coach of the boys’ varsity lacrosse team and I aim to dedicate all of my energy and focus to my guys as well as my students.”
At Virginia, Tucker was team captain and scored 36 points in 15 games as a senior. Following his senior season, he was selected fourth overall by the Boston Cannons. Tucker would play one season for the Cannons, tallying six points in four games. He was then traded to the Blaze, where he played in 14 games before ending up on the Bayhawks.
Tucker played in a total of 27 games over three years for the Bayhawks, tallying 30 total goals, the final two of which came in the Bayhawks’ one-goal win over the Atlanta Blaze in the 2019 MLL semi-final. Tucker then helped the Bayhawks earn their sixth title in what would end up being his final game.
“I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been a part of the Bayhawks organization over the past three years,” said Tucker. “The attention to detail, care, and professionalism exhibited has confirmed the Bayhawks truly are the best in the business. I will forever cherish the relationships forged between my teammates, coaches, and staff,” said Tucker. “I will always look back on my time spent in Annapolis with a smile.”
The night before the MLL championship, tucker was awarded the 2019 Corum Players Choice Award recipient. The award is given to the player who is considered to be “the best teammate in Major League Lacrosse” and is voted on by the players themselves.
“I am most appreciative of how supportive and inclusive the Bayhawks organization was,” Tucker said. “No matter your role on the team or where you came from, you were always treated as an incredibly valued individual. Additionally, my teammates were some of the best men I have ever known. The ability to comprise such a well-rounded group is a testament to the Bayhawks leadership.”
“It has been a pleasure playing with Ryan. He is the ultimate teammate and truly cares about the team first,” said Bayhawks starting goaltender and captain, Brian Phipps. “His passion, energy and devotion to the team helped us get to our championship last year. He was an important part to our success.”
“Tuck was arguably the most selfless teammate I’ve ever played with,” said standout rookie for the Bayhawks, Andrew Kew. “He constantly had a smile on his face and always made the people around him better. He also knows the most random trivia knowledge in all of lacrosse.”
Tucker will continue his involvement in the game in his position as head coach at Norfolk Academy in Virginia, where he is also a teacher. Tucker had led the Bulldogs to an undefeated start before having their season cut short due to COVID-19.
Dave Cottle, Tucker’s former head coach said, “Ryan Tucker is one of the finest young men and teammates that I have ever been around. Now he will move on to his next chapter of being a great coach and teacher.”
“While I will certainly miss playing, I am looking forward to the next chapter as I work to better myself as a teacher, coach, and mentor,” Tucker said. “I feel indebted to the Bayhawks for allowing me to grow as both a player and person throughout my time with them. They will always have my support.”