DURHAM, N.C. - Army Sgt. James John Regan, a Duke lacrosse letterman from 1999-02, was killed Friday, Feb. 9, 2007, in northern Iraq of wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck by an explosive. Regan was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment stationed in Fort Benning, Ga. He was 26.
Born June 27, 1980, in Rockville Centre, N.Y., and a native of Manhasset, N.Y., Regan graduated from Chaminade High School in Mineola, N.Y.
Known as Jimmy at Duke, Regan finished his career with the Blue Devils with 22 goals and four assists, helping the program to a four-year record of 43-21 with two ACC championships (2001 & 2002) and four NCAA Tournament appearances. An Academic All-ACC selection, Regan was named to the 2002 ACC All-Tournament Team after scoring a career-high four goals and adding one assist as Duke defeated then top-ranked Virginia, 14-13, in the championship game.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke, Regan turned down a job offer from UBS, a financial services company, and a scholarship to Southern Methodist University's law school to enlist in the Army, where he passed on Officer Candidate School to focus on becoming a Ranger.
"He said, 'If I don't do it, then who will do it?'" Regan's fiancée, Mary McHugh, told Newsday. "He recognized it as an option and he couldn't not do it."
Regan enlisted in February 2004 and spent three years in the Army, earning a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and several medals marking his service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Regan's stint in the Army was to end in February 2008, and he and McHugh planned to marry the next month. McHugh is a medical student at Emory University. They were to move to the Chicago area, where her family lives, and he was going to become a social studies teacher and coach lacrosse.
In addition to his parents James and Mary Regan, Jimmy Regan is survived by three sisters, Maribeth, 25, Colleen, 20, and Michaela, 16. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
The family has established a scholarship fund in his name. Donations should be sent to the Jim Regan Scholarship, c/o Chaminade Development Office, 340 Jackson Ave., Mineola, N.Y. 11501.
Regan is the second Duke student-athlete to die in Iraq. Marine Lt. Matthew Lynch, a native of Jericho, N.Y., who swam and played baseball at Duke, passed away on October 30, 2004.