Chris Hall missed portions of training camp and the first six games of the season to undergo treatment for throat cancer.
Washington Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall will make his return to the team’s bench Friday night against the Minnesota Swarm at the Comcast Arena at Everett. It will be the first time Hall will be with the team this season after missing portions of training camp and the first six games of the regular season while undergoing treatment for throat cancer.
“It’s going to be an emotional night for us to see Chris back on the bench Friday night,” said Stealth General Manager Doug Locker. “He has been through so much over the last ten weeks, and our entire organization is excited to see this day finally arrive. At the onset we knew that he would battle this and he certainly has shown the character and perseverance that we admire so much about him.”
Hall made his diagnosis public last November, after doctors confirmed the presence of a cancerous tumor on his right tonsil. That was followed by six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, which finished in January. Recovery is an ongoing process, but Hall sees improvement every day.
“My goal was to make it back to the bench for this game and I am very excited that I’ll be able to reach that goal,” said Hall. “It’s been five weeks since my last treatment, so I’ve had time to build some strength back. I still have to continue to take proper care of myself, but I certainly feel good enough to be back coaching and I can’t wait for practice on Thursday.”
Without Hall on the bench this season the Stealth is off to a slow start, losing its first three games and currently sitting at 1-5. Hall, who currently ranks fourth on the National Lacrosse League’s all-time coaching wins list with 69, has been watching the games from his Victoria, B.C. home and is ready to get the defending back-to-back West Division champs back on track.
“I am incredibly passionate about this team and, just like everyone else, I am frustrated with how we have played to date,” Hall added. “We have a lot of talent, but have caught some bad breaks in games and with injuries. I hope to inject some energy and passion to the group and get things back to the way we expect the Washington Stealth to play.”
Hall took over as the Stealth Head Coach ten games into the 2009 season. Since then, the Stealth has a 39-17 record, appeared in each of the last three NLL West Division Finals and the last two NLL Championship Games, winning the title in 2010.
Hall makes his return to the Stealth bench in front of a home crowd at the Comcast Arena on Friday night. The game against the Minnesota Swarm is scheduled to begin at 7:45pm. Tickets are on sale now and available by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.