John Arlotta (left) won the General Manager of the Year Award for 2012. Credit: Graig Abel
The National Lacrosse League has announced that John Arlotta of the Minnesota Swarm has won the league’s General Manager of the Year for the 2012 season.
Under Arlotta’s leadership, Minnesota took a fresh approach to their team in 2012. Following an 8-8 record and first round playoff loss in 2011, the Swarm traded away several veteran players and orchestrated a dramatic overhaul of its roster, infusing the team with youth via the Entry Draft, trades and free agent signings. While many predicted Minnesota would struggle with this approach, the Swarm went 9-7 and entered the playoffs on a four-game winning streak. The Swarm’s top five picks from the 2011 NLL Entry Draft – Jordan MacIntosh, Evan Kirk, Corbyn Tao, Jay Card and David Earl – all played key roles this season.
Arlotta also made the difficult decision to make an in-season change of head coaches. After a 3-3 start, the Swarm surprised many by dismissing Mike Lines and promoting Joe Sullivan as head coach. The moved sparked the young team to a 6-4 finish and the first playoff win in franchise history this past weekend. The Swarm have reached the West Divisional Final, and will play for the chance to go to their first championship game in the eight year history of the franchise when they host the Edmonton Rush on Saturday at 9:30pm Eastern (live on CBS Sports Network).
“I’m honored to be recognized by my peers with this award and I want to thank them not only for this recognition, but also for what I’ve learned from them in my time in the league,” said John Arlotta, who is also the Swarm’s Owner and President. “I’ve been fortunate to learn from a lot of talented owners and general managers, including people like Marty O’Neill and Steve Govett. Steve did an amazing job in his turnaround of the Mammoth this year, and I want to congratulate him and also thank him for his guidance whenever I asked over the last four years.”
Arlotta went on to add, “This is really an organizational award. The award was won by the Minnesota Swarm, not by me. Without everybody in the organization doing their job and playing their role, this wouldn't have happened. It starts with Andy [Arlotta] who has taken complete control of the business side so that I could spend my time on the team. Very importantly, I want to thank the coaches and scouts for buying into trying something new and different. Joe Sullivan in particular did an amazing job as both the head coach and the associate general manager. Finally, I want to thank the players who embraced change and believed from the beginning that this team could win. Without their incredible performance this year, none of this would have been possible. This is truly their team and their award.”
Arlotta is also the Owner & President of the Swarm. Steve Govett of the Colorado Mammoth was runner-up and Mike Board of the Calgary Roughnecks finished third in the General Manager of the Year voting.
The announcements of 2012 NLL Season Awards continues Wednesday with the Les Bartley Award for Coach of the Year. The awards are voted on by the league's board of governors, general managers and head coaches.