NEW YORK – The naming of the 2006 NLL season awards winners continues today with the “Les Bartley Award” for Head Coach of the Year.
Receiving this year’s award is Portland Lumberjax head coach and former Rock assistant coach Derek Keenan. Keenan led the expansion Portland club to an 11-5 record, which tied Buffalo for the best record in the regular season. The Lumberjax won the West Division regular season title, the only expansion team in league history to win a division title in its first season. Keenan, who hails from Oshawa, Ontario, is also the General Manager of the club.
Keenan began his lacrosse career as a player and transitioned into the ranks as a coach in the NLL in 1999. He spent five seasons with the Toronto Rock, 1999 through 2004, as an assistant coach to the man for whom the award is named, the late Les Bartley. In those five years Toronto won four NLL Championships. The Head Coach of the Year award is named for Bartley, whose contribution to his teams, to the NLL, and to the game of lacrosse is immeasurable. Bartley, who lost his brave battle with colon cancer in May of 2005, left behind a coaching legacy. He won seven championship rings in his 12-year coaching tenure and is the league’s all-time winningest coach. Bartley tallied an astonishing 93-38 regular season record behind the bench.
The award announcements continue on Friday May 5 when the league will announce the winner of the Vonage General Manager of the Year Award. The award was won by Bob Hamley of the Arizona Sting last year and previously by Johnny Mouradian (2004) and Kurt Silcott (2003). The award winners are chosen by a vote of the leagues coaches, general managers, and executives.
The league will announce its season award winners over the next two weeks, leading up to the 2006 RBK NLL Championship Game presented by Edge Active. The Buffalo Bandits host the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday, May 13 at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports World Canada and on ESPN2 in in the U.S.
2006 NLL Season Awards
Bowflex Sportsmanship Award
Sean Greenhalgh, Philadelphia Wings
Belmont.com Defensive Player of the Year (for a defenseman, non-goaltender)
Brodie Merrill, Portland Lumberjax
RBK Goaltender of the Year
Steve Dietrich, Buffalo Bandits
“Les Bartley Award” for Head Coach of the Year
Derek Keenan, Portland Lumberjax
Vonage General Manager of the Year
Executive of the Year
“The Tom Borrelli Award” for Writer of the Year
Ticket Sales Executive of the Year
Marketing Executive of the Year
Operations Executive of the Year
Sponsorships Executive of the Year
Public Relations Executive of the Year
Equipment Manager of the Year
Athletic Trainer of the Year
Edge Active Rookie of the Year
Edge Active All-Rookie Team
Dodge First and Second All-Pro Teams
Dodge First Team All-Pro
Dodge Second Team All-Pro
Most Valuable Player Award
(End of award announcements)
RBK NLL Championship Game presented by Edge Active, 6PM Eastern, live on ESPN2 and Fox Sports World Canada