Alex Poole '16 lands premier position in the lacrosse world

Alex Poole ’16 did not have lacrosse on his mind until his junior year, when West Forsyth High School decided to add a varsity program. From that moment, the Winston-Salem native was encouraged by his teachers and friends to give the sport a chance because they felt he would be well suited for it. Poole, however, was not convinced—until one afternoon when he turned on the television and happened to watch a college lacrosse game.  

“I was scrolling through the channels on Memorial Day weekend, and I saw Duke versus Notre Dame in what looked to be a massive game,” he said. Most of the Poole family were fans of the Blue Devils so he decided to give the game a shot. Not long after tuning into the broadcast, the game ended in a dramatic fashion.  

“CJ Costabile on the opening whistle of overtime, won it to himself, and scored within five seconds to win the national championship,” Poole said during his recollection of that exciting moment. “I don’t know what just happened but, that was sick, and I want to do that.” 

Fueled by that experience, Poole approached his high school coach to try out for the team. He was a quick study of the game, gained the attention of the Lees-McRae coaching staff and, eventually, earned a scholarship to play for the Bobcats a few years later. 

Poole began his time at Lees-McRae as a Criminal Justice major before realizing that a career in the athletics world would be more fulfilling. He soon shifted his major and his focus to a career in Sports Management. 

Shortly after making the switch in majors, Poole found an interest in stringing the heads of lacrosse sticks for his teammates. Several of his teammates were so impressed by his work they urged him to start doing it on the side as a small source of income. That idea grew in his mind and would eventually lead him to start a dedicated Instagram account for his business and create YouTube tutorials teaching others how to do it as well. 

The more Poole immersed himself in the lacrosse world, the more passion he exuded for the sport. This passion was present both in his free time and on the field of play.  

“Playing college lacrosse was a dream,” Poole said. “I loved it so much.” 

After graduating from Lees-McRae in 2016, Poole knew he would not be satisfied in a job unless it included lacrosse. His first opportunity came in the form of managing a lacrosse goods store in Charlotte, where he stayed for four years before wanting a change of pace. Little did he know the job landscape was about to change. 

The COVID-19 pandemic soon followed, leaving Poole unsure where his next paycheck was coming from. He had just left his job on his own terms but now had to figure out how he was going to make ends meet in a vastly different job market. 

After working a couple odd jobs over the next few months, Poole decided to restart his lacrosse stringing business from years prior. He created a new website and started flooding social media with news and content about his services. All the arduous work that Poole put into his business, dating back to this time at Lees-McRae, was about to pay off. 

While searching for new job opportunities, Poole noticed one company that was hiring for multiple positions in the lacrosse industry: the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL). The PLL was formed in 2019 and is the highest level of professional lacrosse in the world. After initially applying for a freelance position, he was encouraged during his interview to apply instead for the role above it. That role was the manager of The Lacrosse Network, an owned and operated property of the PLL. Poole did just that and was able to impress the search committee with his passion for the sport and many ideas for the brand. He was aided by his experience with his stringing business and all the work he put into making tutorial videos and other online lacrosse-related content. 

After several rounds of interviews, including interviews with the CEO of the Premier Lacrosse League, Poole was awarded the job in February of 2021. He spent the next year working remotely from his home in Charlotte until his lease ran out. At that point, he was ready to move to Los Angeles where the Premier Lacrosse League and The Lacrosse Network are based. 

Under Poole’s management, The Lacrosse Network has enjoyed steady growth. At present, when combining numbers across all platforms, The Lacrosse Network has over 870,000 followers, which is more than the Premier Lacrosse League itself.  

The job has its benefits as well, one of which includes working closely with Paul Rabil, a lacrosse legend and co-founder and president of the Premier Lacrosse League. 

“It’s just so fun,” Poole said. “The opening Saturday of the college lacrosse season I’m not going to sleep. I’m just going to be so fired up to watch college lacrosse and make content on it.” 

So, what does the future hold for Poole as the manager of The Lacrosse Network?  

“Hopefully, we can just continue to come up with good ideas, hire good people, and keep moving lacrosse forward,” he said.

By Travis StanleyApril 13, 2023