The Washington Stealth announced today the coaching staff that will lead the team in the defense of the National Lacrosse League championship. The coaching staff will largely remain the same as a year ago, with Head Coach Chris Hall entering his third season with the Stealth and assistant coaches Art Webster, Dan Stroup, Rick Lum and Dave Evans retaining their positions on the Stealth staff. Canadian lacrosse legend Kevin Alexander is the lone addition, stepping in as the Stealth’s Director of Player Development.
Hall is in his eighth season as a head coach in the National Lacrosse League, and his third with the Stealth. A co-recipient of the 2010 NLL Coach of the Year Award, Hall became just the second coach in NLL history to hoist the Champion’s Cup with two different teams. He won his first NLL Championship as the bench boss of the Calgary Roughnecks in 2004. He also moved into fourth on the NLL’s all-time regular season coaching wins list with 61 victories.
“The Stealth is fortunate to have not only one of the top coaches in the history of the sport, but also a seasoned and trusted advisor on the operations front,” Stealth President David Takata said of Hall, who is also the Vice President of Lacrosse Operations for the team. “Coach Hall understands the challenges of building in a developing market and inspires the management team and front office to excel. His return will be cheered by Washington’s lacrosse community and the rapidly growing Stealth fan base.”
Hall took over the Stealth’s head coaching duties during the 2009 season, when the team was struggling at 3-7. The Stealth has posted a 19-8 record since then, including a 4-1 record in the playoffs. The Stealth’s 11 wins during the 2010 regular season were a career-high for Hall.
“Chris has done an outstanding job and has demonstrated over his career why he is one of the best coaches in the NLL and we are honored and proud to have him as our Head Coach,” said Stealth General Manager Doug Locker. “As busy as he has been on the lacrosse side, Chris has also been a visible member of the Pacific Northwest lacrosse scene and has worked tirelessly in promoting both the Stealth and the game in the region.”
Along with Hall, the Stealth will also see the return of four assistant coaches. Art Webster is entering his fifth season as the defensive coordinator for the Stealth. Having won numerous Canadian lacrosse championships as a player and coach, 2010 marked the first time Webster has been a member of a National Lacrosse League Championship team.
“Artie is a real anchor for us and the guys have a tremendous amount of respect for him,” said Hall about his former teammate and long-time friend. “He brings a wealth of experience and his passion for the game is unmatched.”
Webster has enjoyed a great deal of success as a player and coach in Canada. As a coach, Webster served as a defensive coordinator for Victoria, where he helped lead the team to five straight Mann Cup showings, including two titles in 2003 and 2005. Webster earned a share of the WLA Coach of the Year Award as an assistant with the Shamrocks in 2002. In 2009, he led the Shamrocks to a WLA regular season title as head coach. Webster is currently the head coach of the Nanaimo Timbermen of the WLA.
As a member of the Western Lacrosse Association’s Victoria Shamrocks and Ontario Lacrosse Association's Brampton Excelesiors, Webster appeared in 558 games as a player amassing 621 points on 174 goals and 447 assists. He won two Mann Cup titles (1979, 1983) and reached the finals seven times as a player. He was also a member of the Canadian National Field Team in 1976-77. He was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2007.
Dan Stroup enters his second season on the Washington Stealth coaching staff. After spending 13 years as a player in the National Lacrosse League, Stroup was enshrined in the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame in 2010. The 2010 Stealth season marked the fifth time he hoisted the Champion’s Cup, but his first as a coach. He will continue his role as the offensive coordinator for the Stealth in 2011.
In Stroup’s 13-year NLL career, he appeared in 182 regular season games, accumulating 294 goals and 235 assists for 529 career points. Known to have his best moments when it mattered most, Stroup tallied 30 goals and 13 assists for 43 points in 14 career playoff games and scored five goals en route to the Champion’s Cup MVP nod with the Toronto Rock in 2000. Stroup put his stamp on the NLL while playing for in Toronto, winning three Champion’s Cups and playing a major role on the Rock’s offense. He scored a career-high 37 goals in Toronto in his final season with the team in ‘02.
Stroup went on to play with the Vancouver Ravens and Colorado Mammoth, where he won his fourth NLL title in 2006. He played two seasons with the Edmonton Rush before retiring after the 2009 season as a member of the Portland Lumberjax. Stroup also won a Mann Cup title with the WLA’s Coquitlam Adanacs in 2001 and a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2003 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships.
“Stroupy did a great job in his first year as a coach,” said Hall. “As the season went along he got more comfortable in that role and was a big reason our offense led the league in scoring last year.”
Rick Lum enters his second season with the Washington Stealth as an assistant coach. He brings 37 years of experience as a player, coach and official to the position. Lum appeared in five Champion’s Cup Final games as a referee and in his first season on an NLL bench in 2010, he earned the right to raise the Cup as a coach.
“Lummer proved to be a major contributor last season, especially in our preparation with all the video work he did, and on the practice floor,” said Hall. “He did a great job with Jamison Koesterer in the face-off circle and provided a lot to our offense as well.”
Lum began his coaching career in 1998 and spent two seasons in the Coquitlam Adanacs minor lacrosse association. After a nearly ten year hiatus from being behind the bench, Lum returned to the coaching ranks with the Adanacs Junior A squad in 2007. In three years, the team won two league titles and appeared in the 2009 Minto Cup with a 20-1 record. In 2010, he moved on from coaching to become the commissioner of the British Columbia Junior ‘A’ Lacrosse League.
NLL fans will recognize Lum as one of the most decorated officials in the league’s history. During his nine-year tenure, which ended in 2009, Lum refereed five NLL Championship games, two All-Star games and one international game between the United States and Canada. In 30 years as an official for the Canadian Box Lacrosse Association, Lum appeared in eight Minto Cups and seven Mann Cups. In 1996, he was named the British Columbia Lacrosse Officials Association Referee of the Year.
Dave Evans enters his second season with the Washington Stealth as the goaltenders coach. He brings with him over 40 years of experience as a player and coach, including stints in the National Lacrosse League. 2010 marked the third NLL title on Evans’ coaching resume.
Evans was the Head Coach of the Philadelphia Wings from 1988-1993, winning a pair of championships in 1990 and 1991. Prior to that, Evans also coached Vancouver in the WLA. He went on to coach Northshore for two seasons in 1995 and 1996. In 2001, Evans was appointed General Manager of the expansion Vancouver Ravens. The Ravens reached the NLL postseason in 2002 and 2003, with Evans earning NLL General Manager of the Year honors in 2002.
“Dave’s three NLL titles as a coach are no mistake,” said Hall. “He’s a fantastic coach and he did a wonderful job with our goaltenders last season.”
Evans was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1995 as a player. His illustrious 13-year career as a goaltender began at the age of 13 in the Burnaby Minor lacrosse system. He made the jump to the Junior ‘A’ division in 1969 and was named an All-Star and MVP.
Evans played his Senior ‘A’ ball for the Vancouver Burrards of the Western Lacrosse Association for ten seasons, and was Goalie of the Year in 1973. He was named the WLA playoff MVP in 1973 and 1977, was a three-time All-Star and won the Mann Cup in 1977. He also played professionally in the NLL for the Montreal Quebecois in 1975, where he won Goaltender of the Year honors.
The new addition to the 2011 Stealth staff is Kevin Alexander. He will enter his first season as the Stealth’s Director of Player Development. Alexander is widely regarded as one of the greatest lacrosse players of all time, and has been in the NLL as a player and coach in the past. He was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1991.
Having the opportunity to bring Kevin Alexander to this team is a great thing for the entire Stealth organization,” said Hall about his friend and fellow Victoria native. “He adds an unbelievable amount of knowledge and expertise and he’s a forward-thinker both on and off the floor.”
One of the most prolific scorers the game has ever seen, Alexander dominated the junior and senior ranks in British Columbia. In his Junior ‘A’ playing career with Victoria and a year in Burnaby, he accumulated 621 points (333g, 288a) in just 91 games, winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 1974 and earning three scoring titles and three first-team All-Star honors. Alexander was named the MVP of the Minto Cup (Junior ‘A’ Championship Tournament) in 1976, when he also set Junior ‘A’ records for most goals (115) and points (217) in a single season.
His senior career is equally as impressive, playing ten WLA seasons with Nanaimo (1977-1978) and Victoria (1979-1986). He was named Rookie of the Year in 1977 and a seven-time WLA All-Star (1978, 1980-1985). He won the WLA scoring title five times (1980-1981, 1983-1985) and was a two-time playoff MVP (1980, 1984). He won two Mann Cup titles with Victoria in 1979 and 1983. His prowess extended to the field game as well, illustrated best by his performance at the 1986 World Championships, where he was named the top midfielder and a member of the All-World Team.
Alexander played two seasons in the NLL (at the time Major Indoor Lacrosse League), winning championships in both seasons as a member of the Buffalo Bandits. He recorded 61 points (47g, 14a) in 19 career games. He went on to become the Head Coach of the expansion Syracuse Smash in 1998 and returned as an assistant coach for the Calgary Roughnecks (2006-2007) and the Portland Lumberjax (2008-2009).
“I’m thrilled that everyone came back after the championship season,” Hall added about his group of assistants. “It’s a great group of lacrosse minds and a great place to start from as we defend out title.”
The Stealth open the 2011 season on January 8th against the Colorado Mammoth in Denver, Colo. They begin their home schedule the following night against the Calgary Roughnecks. Season tickets for the 2011 season are on sale now and available by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.