Toronto Rock goaltender Steve Dietrich has decided to retire after 18 seasons as a goaltender in the National Lacrosse League. Dietrich has now moved into the role of Goaltender Coach for the 2011 season with the Toronto Rock.
Dietrich broke into the league with the Baltimore Thunder in 1992. “Chugger” went on to play with Detroit, Rochester, Buffalo, Edmonton and Calgary wrapping up his career with the Toronto Rock.
“A couple of months ago I started having doubts about whether or not I still had the passion to play and compete at the highest level,” explains Dietrich. “It was a very tough decision but I knew in my heart it was time to walk away.”
Dietrich won the Champion’s Cup with the Knighthawks in 1997 and was named the Most Valuable Player in the Championship game.
“Individual awards are nice but anyone will tell you they will trade those individual awards for a championship. Winning the title with Rochester in Buffalo in a very tough building to win in, especially as the underdog was the highlight of my pro career.”
At 36-years of age in 2006, he turned in one of his best seasons ever capturing the NLL MVP award with the Buffalo Bandits. He was the first and only goalie to capture the NLL’s top individual honour.
Dietrich is also a two-time winner of the NLL Goaltender of the Year Award taking home the hardware in both 2005 and 2006.
Dietrich joins the coaching staff of the Rock led by head coach Troy Cordingley. Cordingley’s assistants are John Lovell, Matt Sawyer and GM Terry Sanderson.
“It’s fun being around Troy. His passion and commitment is great to be around and I’m ready to just shut my mouth, watch and learn,” says Dietrich.
“I’ve also played for a lot of owners in this league and Jamie Dawick is by far the best,” said Dietrich. “I was willing to take advantage of any opportunity to remain with the organization.”
The toughest part about retiring from the National Lacrosse League for Dietrich was telling his biggest fan, his dad Larry.
“I was worried about letting him down because he’s been so supportive. He told me if he has to become the number one goalie coach fan, then that’s what he’ll do,” said Dietrich with a smile.
Toronto will open the 2011 regular season at home on Saturday, January 8 at 7:00pm against the Edmonton Rush at Air Canada Centre. For more information on season tickets contact the Rock office at 416-596-3075 or visit the Rock website www.torontorock.com <http://www.torontorock.com> .