Stealth coach Chris Hall (center) celebrates a 2010 NLL championship win at Comcast Arena in Everett. (Photo: Richard Olson)
Chris Hall (Photo: Brad Husick)
EVERETT, Wash. -- In lacrosse as in any sport there is a formula for championship teams. A team must have chemistry, a core group of talented players, play at its best – always, and most importantly have great coaching.
For the Washington Stealth, and a recently clinched post-season berth -- its third in four years, all are in place with one of the NLL’s preeminent coaches leading the way.
When Chris Hall takes his spot behind the Stealth bench Saturday night at Comcast Arena he will be doing so for the 151st time in his head-coaching career tying Rochester’s Paul Day for third most appearances as a head coach in NLL history.
Only Buffalo's Darris Kilgour with 204 and Colorado's Bob Hamley with 160 have more.
“It’s tough to be a head coach in this league and have longevity in it,” said Hall who will make history for the second consecutive week after becoming just the third man to win at least 80 games with last Saturday’s win over the Calgary Roughnecks.
“It’s a proud moment for me and a testament to the effort and the things that I have devoted myself to over the course of the years.”
After an NLL head coaching start in Calgary where he went 46-42 in six seasons, Hall joined the Stealth in 2009 as an assistant coach replacing Jeff Dowling mid-way through that first season, Hall has never looked back.
Since taking over in 2009 Hall has led the Stealth to a 34-28 regular season record qualifying the team for the playoffs in four of the five seasons. In those four seasons the team has an impressive 6-2 record while playing the NLL Champions Cup game twice including in 2010 when the team won the franchise’s first ever NLL title.
With the 2010 championship, Hall joined a list of only five coaches in NLL history to win multiple league titles and is only the third man to do it with multiple teams.
Success that Hall is all-to-eager to share.
“It’s nice to be in good company with the coaches I’m with but it truly is a special moment for me, ” Hall said.
"We have a great organization with a great GM, president and owner," he said. "I couldn’t do it without the opportunities that I’ve been afforded here and prior to that with Brad Bannister in Calgary who initial gave me the opportunity to coach in this league."
Now after 12 NLL seasons with two championship rings, Hall looks back on his career highlights but considers himself fortunate just to be around the game that he loves.
“Just being able to coach in the NLL is a highlight for me. Lacrosse is my passion and to coach in this league for 12 years is extremely rewarding. “
Saturday's Stealth matchup with the Buffalo Bandits gets underway at 6:45 p.m. PDT at Comcast Arena in Everett.
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