Minnesota Swarm head coach Joe Sullivan is the 2012 winner of the Les Bartley Award as the NLL's Head Coach of the Year. (Photo Credit: Adam Borgstahl)
The National Lacrosse League has announced that Joe Sullivan of the Minnesota Swarm is the winner of the Les Bartley Award as the Head Coach of the Year for the 2012 season.
Sullivan, who is also Minnesota’s associate general manager, took over behind the bench as head coach for the first time in his career after the team dismissed Mike Lines in February following a 3-3 start. Guiding a club that features 12 rookies – including first-round picks Jordan MacIntosh and Evan Kirk – Sullivan led Minnesota to a 6-4 finish and the first playoff win in the franchise’s eight-year history last Saturday in Colorado.
Sullivan will lead the Swarm into the West Division Final against the Edmonton Rush at 9:30 p.m. ET Saturday night from the Xcel Energy Center and aired live on CBS Sports Network.
“I’d like to congratulate Joe on this well-deserved award”, said Swarm Owner John Arlotta. “Joe was given a completely revamped team, and in a very short period of time he was able to implement his systems and execute a game plan. We had 16 new players, and the team gelled together faster than we could have imagined. He has great management and communication skills that allow him to help our younger players navigate their way through the ups and downs of a NLL season.”
Dave Pym of the Calgary Roughnecks and Bob Hamley of the Colorado Mammoth finished in a tie for second.
The Head Coach of the Year award is named in honor of the late Les Bartley, whose contribution to his teams, to the NLL, and to the game of lacrosse is immeasurable. Bartley, who lost his battle with colon cancer in May of 2005, left behind a coaching legacy. He won seven championship rings in his twelve year coaching tenure and tallied an astonishing 93-38 regular season record behind the bench.
The announcements of 2012 NLL Season Awards continues Thursday with the Goaltender of the Year. The awards are voted on by the league's board of governors, general managers and head coaches.