Panos and Papaleonti Join the Men's Staff of Greece Lacrosse
Head Coach Andrew Athens is proud to announce the additions of Chris Panos and Peter Papaleonti as assistant coaches to the Greece National Team. Both coaches will bring extensive championship-level playing and coaching experience and will be valuable assets to the coaching staff.
Chris Panos is currently an assistant coach at NCAA Division II Queens University of Charlotte. In his first season in Charlotte, Panos helped guide Queens to an appearance in the South Atlantic Conference Championship Game. The Royals compiled three wins against opponents ranked in the top15 nationally and finished the year ranked No. 18 in the country. Prior to joining Queens, Panos spent three years as an assistant coach at the University of Tampa in which the Spartans won three straight Sunshine State Conference titles and made three straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
As a player, Panos was drafted No. 4 overall in the 1997 National Lacrosse League amateur draft and played 12 professional seasons, racking up 200 career goals to rank seventh all-time in goals scored by a United States born player. This fall, he was rated as the No. 19 all-time American born player in the NLL by U.S. Box Lacrosse. Panos attended Hofstra University and was twice named an America East all-conference selection while leading his team to 2 NCAA postseason appearances in 1995 and 1996.
"I'm very excited to join the coaching staff for the Greece Lacrosse National Team for the World Games in 2018,” said Panos. “This is another great opportunity for me to give back as an ambassador of this great game and to help the continued growth of this sport globally. I'd like to thank the entire Greece Lacrosse Association and Head Coach Andrew Athens for this tremendous opportunity. It will be an honor to work with all the coaches, players and staff and I am excited to get the hard work started!" The original Panos family name is Panagiotakis, meaning "All Holy,” and was shortened to Panos when Chris’s great grandparents moved from the city of Heraklion located on the Greek Island of Crete, to the United States of America.
Peter Papaleonti is entering his third year as a coach at NCAA Division II Limestone College. Peter has worked closely with a defense that regularly finishes in the top 10 in goals against and with the face-off unit that is headlined by two time Division II Player of the Year Kevin Reisman. This fall Peter has concentrated on running the substitution box and working with the goalies at Limestone.
Peter played as a long stick midfielder and close defender during his collegiate career at Limestone College. As a senior, Peter was named Second Team USILA All-American, First Team All-Conference Carolinas, All-Tournament Team, and voted the team MVP and team captain. During his career Limestone Lacrosse reached unprecedented heights by appearing in three National Championship games while winning Back to Back National Championships in 2014 & 2015.
“I am very excited to be a part of Greece Lacrosse! It is not only humbling but an honor to be selected as an assistant coach for the Greek National Team. I look forward to working alongside Coach Andrew Athens and Coach Chris Panos. The Greek Heritage is very important to my family and I; being able to grow the game of Lacrosse in Greece and continue the growth of the sport in the Greek Community is a dream come true. I want to thank Bob Vlahakis, John Kanaras, George Katsiaunis, and Andrew Athens for this opportunity. I can’t wait to get this team started!”
The Greece National Team will compete in its first tournament, the Federation of International Lacrosse Men’s World Championship, July 12-21, 2018, in Netanya, Israel.