Team Adds Rusty Kruger And Colin Doyle To Staff
Oakville, ON – Toronto Rock Owner, President and GM Jamie Dawick announced today that the club has re-signed Head Coach Matt Sawyer to a 2-year agreement. The 46-year old Sawyer will begin his fifth season as the team’s Head Coach on Saturday, December 4th when the Rock open the season against the Albany FireWolves at Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre.
“We haven’t played in almost 2 years and Matt’s contract had expired,” said Dawick. “Matt’s done a great job and there was no hesitation to re-sign him to a new 2-year deal. We’re happy to have him back as Head Coach and to continue as our leader.”
Sawyer is on the verge of passing Hall of Fame Rock Head Coach Les Bartley for most games coached in team history. With 65 games behind the bench, he trails Bartley by just five games and will surpass him on January 29 when the Rock host Rochester. With 36 career wins, he’s also just two wins behind Troy Cordingley for second all-time. Bartley still leads Sawyer by 15 wins, with 51, for the all-time wins lead.
“I’m very excited to have this opportunity,” said Sawyer. “It’s an exciting time as we are getting back on the floor and talking about lacrosse and training camp. We are ready to get to work and I’m thankful to be back in Rock City!
“It’s an honour to be mentioned in the same breath as some legendary coaches. I’ve been here since the beginning with Jamie and before that too. The Rock mean a lot to me and my family.”
With Blaine Manning stepping away due to work and family commitments, the Rock have added Rusty Kruger to the coaching staff to handle the offence. Kruger is no stranger to the Rock having won the NLL championship with Toronto in 2005 as a player when Sawyer was an Assistant Coach, running the offence. Kruger was most recently an assistant coach with the Buffalo Bandits in a similar role during the 19-20 NLL season.
“I want to thank Buffalo for giving us the opportunity to talk with Rusty about a role with our club,” explained Dawick. “While Buffalo is our biggest rival on the floor, they are a great partner off the floor and a first-class organization.
“Rusty is a great addition and fits in great with the staff. Our staff is familiar with him and that will help this group get to work quickly.”
The next addition to the Rock staff needs no introduction to Rock City. Former Captain, 6-time NLL champion, NLL and Toronto Rock Hall of Fame member and all-time Rock leader in every offensive category, Colin Doyle has joined the staff as an Associate Coach. He will work behind the scenes and at practices, assisting with player development and lending his offensive expertise to the coaching staff.
“Colin’s going to bring a lot to the table,” said Dawick. “He’ll work with Rusty and Matt at practice, developing our players and working with the offensive side of the game. His knowledge and experience will be a huge asset to the Toronto Rock.”
Returning to the staff are Assistant Coach and Assistant GM Bruce Codd as well as Assistant Coach Brandon Miller who will continue to work with the goaltenders.
The connections outside of life with the Rock run deep with Sawyer, Codd and Kruger as a coaching staff. The trio collaborated on the bench together with the Orangeville Jr. A Northmen, winning the Minto Cup Canadian Jr. A Championship in 2008.
The Toronto Rock Home Opener is scheduled for Saturday, December 4 at Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre. Tickets for the game are now on sale to the general public through ticketmaster.ca and torontorock.com.
For more information on Toronto Rock Season Memberships, please contact a Toronto Rock account executive at 416-596-3075 or visit torontorock.com.