Mammoth Changes in Denver


Well the coaching void didn’t take long to fill. Yesterday, the Mammoth announced that they fired their coaching staff, all except Dallas Eliuk who was brought on to improve the goaltending before the 2013-14 season.

Making the announcement this morning, the Colorado front office named three former Mammoth stars as the replacement coaches to finish the 2014 season: Pat Coyle, Chris Gill and Dan Stroup.

They are some of the best to ever play the game, and they’re champions!” said Mammoth president & general manager Steve Govett. “I have the utmost confidence in the abilities of Pat, Chris and Dan, and I know that they all bleed burgundy.”

I find it entertaining that the three interim coaches who have been selected are actually former teammates and competitors of Mammoth vets John Grant Jr. and Casey Powell. The oldest coach is 45 and the oldest player is 39, that’s not too far off!

The coaches have no lack of experience. Combined, the three bring 12 NLL Championships and they were all members of the 2006 squad, which brought Colorado their only Champion’s Cup.

Coyle maintains the reputation as one of the greatest defenseman in NLL history. In 2002, he was the NLL’s first Defensive Player of the Year. Later, Pat was selected to the Mammoth’s All-Decade Team in 2012. He also carried the reputation as a ‘coach on the field’ boasting a wealth of box lacrosse knowledge during his 12-year tenure in the NLL. By the time he retired as a player, Pat Coyle won five NLL league championships.

Gill has earned three NLL titles of his own and tallied 338 goals. Chris spent four season in Colorado (2006, 2008-10), and finished his career in Denver with the Mammoth.

Stroup also is another household name for the NLL. He was inducted in to the NLL HOF in 2010, and he also won four championships of his own as a runner and one as a coach. He scored 19 or more goals in 10 straight seasons and was honored as the MVP of the 2000 NLL championship game.

Former players coaching their their old teammates is no new trend in the NLL: recently Dan Ladouceur joined the Rock coaching staff after spending ten seasons on the floor for Toronto. Colin Doyle comments on how strange it seemed at first, but when the player truly respects the person for their wealth of knowledge and judgment, they do become a coach and less of a friend.

I see no issue with bringing former players on as coaches as they experienced the action first hand. I just worry that bringing three coaches, mid-season, all at once could do more harm than good for turning around the Mammoth bench.

The new coaching staff will make their debut with the team at practice on Friday. Saturday at 7pm MT in the Pepsi Center, the coaches get to see some competition for the first time in a few years, as the Mammoth square off against the Calgary Roughnecks on ‘Lacrosse Out Cancer’ Night.

The Mammoth are 4-7 heading in to the weekend, and they need to grab a few wins to carry momentum in to the playoffs.

Below is a list of fan comments pulled from the Mammoth Facebook page, it seems the changes are unanimously a great thing for the fans in Colorado:

Great formula!! Go Mammoth!!

This is awesome. I love the coaching choices

Great picks!

Here we go making a run now!!

Experience rules the day!!!! PERFECT CHOICES!!!!

Now to replace the refs. Or give them some consequences for stupid errors!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!!