The National Lacrosse League has announced Terry Sanderson has been voted into the NLL Hall of Fame as the lone inductee of the Class of 2015. Sanderson, who passed away in 2014, will be inducted posthumously as the 24th member of the Hall of Fame on Tuesday, September 29th in Toronto as just the fifth coach/general manager in history to receive the league’s highest individual honour.
Sanderson served as an NLL head coach for seven seasons with Albany from 2000-2001, Montreal in 2002, Ottawa in 2003 and Toronto from 2004-2006, which included a Champion’s Cup win in 2005 with the Rock. He finished his head coaching career with a 51-49 record. Sanderson stayed behind the bench as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Wings in 2007 and won the Champion’s Cup in 2009 with the Calgary Roughnecks (2008-2009). He then served as the Rock’s general manager for five seasons (2010-2014), an impressive tenure highlighted by a Champion’s Cup victory (2011), along with East Division titles (2010 & 2015). The Orangeville, Ont. native played in the original NLL for Syracuse (1974) and Quebec (1975). Sanderson passed away suddenly in November 2014 at the age of 62, leaving behind an iconic lacrosse legacy.
“We know how happy he would be about this, and we’re happy for him,” said Josh Sanderson, who was surprised when informed of his father’s Hall of Fame selection via phone call this morning. The Toronto Rock forward added that the selection “means a lot, and our entire family looks forward to the induction ceremony.”
‘T’ as he was always known as, was a larger than life character. He demanded a lot of his players as both a coach and a general manager. He preached team, character and hard work. To some those are just words that are thrown around lightly and look good in a quote about a team’s performance or makeup, but ‘T’ believed in them and that’s what defined the players he brought in to build his championship teams.
“T always told me he would take 18 team guys over 1 ‘me’ guy,” explained Rock Owner, President and GM Jamie Dawick. “That’s how he built his teams. He always felt that you won with a team that had all the right pieces and guys that fit into roles.
“I believed T was a hall of famer when I hired him leading up to the 2010 season. It was just a matter of when. This is a very well deserved honour and it’s a tribute to his success and impact on the NLL.”
The five finalists for the Class of 2015 were selected earlier this month by the league’s Hall of Fame Committee. The other four finalists included former Toronto Rock forward Kevin Finneran along with Tracey Kelusky and Gavin Prout along with Jake Bergey, who automatically returned from last year’s ballot. Sanderson received votes on 80 percent of the overall ballots, followed by Kelusky (63%), Prout (60%), Finneran (37%) and Bergey (33%).
Hall of Fame ballots were cast by the teams, current members of the NLL Hall of Fame and the league’s senior media members. Voters were able to select up to three of the five nominees on the ballot. To win induction into the Hall of Fame, nominees must be selected on a minimum of 75 percent of the overall ballots cast or 75 percent of ballots cast by Hall of Fame members. Kevin Finneran, Tracey Kelusky and Gavin Prout will automatically return to the ballot next year.
The NLL Hall of Fame was established in 2006. The 23 current members are:
Class of 2006 (Founding Members)
Class of 2007
Class of 2008
Class of 2009
Class of 2010
Class of 2011
Class of 2012
Class of 2013
Class of 2014
Members of Media Recognized by Hall of Fame
Tom Borrelli (2007)
Neil Stevens (2008)
More information on the NLL Hall of Fame Ceremony for the Class of 2015 will be announced in the near future.