September 25, 2018
BRANDON MILLER RETIRES AND JOINS ROCK COACHING STAFF
Miller Transitions To Goaltending Coach After 18-Year NLL Career
Oakville, ON – Toronto Rock Owner, President and GM Jamie Dawick has announced that goaltender Brandon Miller has retired from the National Lacrosse League and will join the team’s coaching staff as goaltending coach.
“We’ll miss B on the floor as a player and in the locker room as a great teammate,” said Dawick. “He is a great addition to the coaching staff and rounds out the group in an impactful way.”
Miller spent the final four and half years of his 18-year NLL career with the Rock after coming to Toronto from Philadelphia during the 2014 season. Prior to that, the 39-year old from Orangeville, ON had career stops in Albany, San Jose, Chicago and Philadelphia finishing with a 56-81 win-loss mark.
“Making this decision wasn’t the easiest when you’ve played lacrosse your whole life,” said Miller. “With a young family, I’ve missed out on a lot of my son’s hockey games and my daughter’s basketball games. That all weighed into my decision to give my body a rest and free up some time during the week to spend with them.
“Having hip surgery a year and half ago and dealing with other ongoing issues with staying healthy, my body was starting to tell me something.”
However, it was Miller’s 2015 season that was the best of his career and happened to come in a Rock jersey. He went 8-2-0 with a 10.36 goals-against average and a .792 save percentage. That season also saw the Rock finish first overall in the NLL standings and make it all the way to the NLL Cup finals before falling to the Rush.
“Terry Sanderson was the one who brought me to Toronto,” Miller explained as he reflected on the season following the passing of Sanderson. “He mentored me long before coming into the league, he drafted me in Albany but I never got a chance to play for him again until coming to Toronto.
“It was such a heavy feeling at training camp with T’s passing just before everyone got together to get that season started. The emotion around his passing built into a really strong bond and I don’t think it was something any of us had ever felt in a team before. He was in our hearts and minds every game and it brought us together. As tight as any dressing room I’ve ever been in. Everyone bought into being a Toronto Rock that season all in his name and honour. It’s a season I’ll never forget.”
Miller now transitions into a coaching role where he will work closely with Nick Rose, the man he has backed up the last couple seasons with the Rock. The two have a strong and long-standing relationship.
“Anyone who knows Nick knows the outstanding person he is. He’s easy to get along with and talk to,” said Miller. “He and I have a different connection, both coming from Orangeville. I can remember him as a young kid running around the arena at age 6 or 7. Our families have known each other for a long time, and our relationship helped me make the easy transition when I came over to the Rock as a player. I expect our friendship to carry on just as easily in a coaching role.
“The same can be said for Riley Hutchcraft. I just met him last year, everyone told me what an outstanding kid he was and after meeting him once, you realize that it’s all true. He’s going to be a very good goaltender for years to come and I’m looking forward to working with him too.”
Like any player with as many years in the NLL as Miller, there are a lot of important people that have helped him along the way to be the pro he was.
“My family has been number one for me, my wife Alisa, daughter Avery and son Evan, of course my parents who have been watching me play for almost 35 years now, my brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, in-laws and friends who have always been there to give support at so many games over the years. It was like a traveling circus at times and I loved every second that I had them in my corner. You can’t do it without family support and great friendships.
If you play lacrosse and come from Orangeville, it’s almost impossible that the Sanderson family hasn’t positively influenced you. I was so lucky to have many of them as my coaches as well as teammates both in minor and pro. Also, some great coaches and communicators like Bob Brow helped as well.
Finally all of my teammates, the guys I started playing with at age 5 who helped me fall in love with the game and are still some of my best friends, the goalies I watched and idolized growing up, Chris Sanderson, Doug Sawyer, Jim Rankin, Rob Blasdell, Bob Watson and Anthony Cosmo, all my teammates from my early years in the NLL who kept me out of trouble and showed me the ropes, to the most recent guys who kept the game fun as well as made me feel very old at times.
I want to thank Jamie Dawick and the coaching staff of Matt Sawyer, Bruce Codd and Blaine Manning for bringing me in and making me feel welcome. I really respect and feel comfortable in this organization and I am ready to contribute to the team in a new role.”
2018-19 Toronto Rock Season Tickets and Season Passes are on sale now. To purchase or for more information, please visit torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.