Jason Bloom played in 51 of a possible 54 games in three years with the Stealth (Photo: John McCabe).
The National Lacrosse League’s Washington Stealth made its move to the Pacific Northwest prior to the 2010 season. Over the last three seasons, only one man has donned the captain’s “C”: defenseman Jason Bloom. Today, Bloom has announced that he is retiring from the NLL after six seasons. Bloom will remain a member of the Stealth organization in a new role as an assistant coach.
“The National Lacrosse League is the pinnacle of the lacrosse world and I am so proud and thankful that I have been able to be a part of it,” said Bloom. “I’ve met so many lifelong friends through lacrosse. The game has given so much to me and I am forever in its debt.”
Bloom entered the league in 2007 as a member of the Colorado Mammoth. After two seasons in Denver, he was traded to the Boston Blazers, where he enjoyed a career year as transition player. He notched career-highs in points (23), goals (13) and assists (10). When the Stealth announced its move to Everett prior to the 2010 season, the team made the trade for Bloom, who was living in Mercer Island, allowing him to play near his family.
In 2010, Bloom achieved his dream of hoisting the Champion’s Cup as an integral part of the Stealth’s run to its first NLL title. He appeared in all 19 games the Stealth played that season, posting a career-high 111 loose balls in a new role as a defenseman during the regular season. It was the highlight of his career and a moment he will cherish forever.
“Being a part of the 2010 team that won the Cup was an experience I will never forget,” he said. “It was a special group of guys on and off the floor and doing it so close to where I’ve made my home was incredible.”
In his three seasons with the Stealth, Bloom played in 51 of a possible 54 games, posting 27 points (4g, 23a) and 215 loose balls. As the only captain the team has known since coming to Washington, his presence was felt both on and off the floor.
“We are very appreciative of the efforts Jason has made on behalf of the Washington Stealth and thankful for the hard work, dedication and passion that he has shown both on and off the floor for the past three seasons,” said Stealth General Manager Doug Locker. “He has poured his heart and soul into the Washington Stealth and the growth of lacrosse in our area: his efforts have been an inspiration to all of us. Words cannot effectively reflect the thanks of our entire organization to Jason for all that he has done representing our team. He’s a talented player, great leader, superb role model and a trusted friend to all of us.”
Off the floor, Bloom has been a constant in the local lacrosse community, serving as a coach and mentor for many local athletes. He has also played a major role in the Stealth Lacrosse Academy and the team’s efforts in the community with local non-profit organizations.
Stealth President David Takata said, “Jason exemplifies the ideals of a team captain; tireless work ethic, selflessness, and heart of a lion. As captain, he was the first to lift the Champion’s Cup at the Comcast Arena in 2010, an honor he earned for the team and Washington’s fans. Jason has also been a behind-the-scenes leader for Washington’s lacrosse community, and gives his time generously and without fanfare to numerous local non-profits. Fortunately, his desire to remain involved with the team post-retirement means the team, fans and our community will continue to benefit from Jason’s leadership. “
Bloom will continue his contributions to the Stealth in his new role as an assistant coach. Bloom’s primary responsibilities will be in working with the defense and with the team’s younger players. He is a welcome addition to the coaching staff for Head Coach Chris Hall.
“It's an incredibly difficult decision for any professional athlete to 'hang 'em up' especially when you still have the physical and mental capacity to continue playing,” said Hall. “I sympathize with Jason in coming to terms with the realization that he will no longer be suiting up to play this game he has been so passionate about since he first picked up a lacrosse stick as a young boy. He can be forever proud however, of the fact that he climbed to the pinnacle of the game as our captain, leading us to the ultimate goal of winning the 2010 Champions Cup - a symbol of the world's best team. It also gives me great pleasure to know that Jason will continue to be able to contribute to our great sport and the success of the Washington Stealth NLL franchise by agreeing to stay with the organization in a coaching capacity. In this way he will be able to remain close to the game he loves and will be able to pass on his considerable knowledge and leadership skills to our veterans and new stars alike.”
Bloom is also looking forward to the next chapter of his career and experience a new kind of competitive nature that comes with being a coach instead of a player.
“I know our team and this league very well,” he said. “I’ve learned from some great coaches in my career and I feel like I’ve picked up a lot from them. I look forward to passing that along to the younger guys within the Stealth organization and continue to fuel my competitive fire as a coach.
“I leave the game with no regrets,” Bloom added. “Of course I will miss the competition, the camaraderie and the ‘weekend warrior’ mentality, but I am excited to spend more time with my family and further my growth as a coach in the sport that means so much to me.”
Bloom will get his first taste of coaching when the Stealth begins training camp in December. The 2013 regular season is slated to begin on January 5, when the Stealth plays host to the defending NLL Champion Rochester Knighthawks at the Comcast Arena.
Season tickets for the 2013 season start at just $99 and are on sale now. For more information, call 877-MY-75-TIX or visit www.stealthlax.com.