The Toronto Rock have announced that assistant coach John Lovell will replace Troy Cordingley as the team's head coach. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Toronto Rock general manager Terry Sanderson has announced that Troy Cordingley has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Toronto Rock while assistant coach John Lovell has been promoted to the position.
“Troy was an integral part of the success the Rock achieved over the last four seasons including a championship in 2011,” said Sanderson. “I felt the team needed new bench leadership to get the franchise back to another championship.”
Sanderson, an assistant coach for the past four seasons, also noted that he will step down from the bench as the team’s defensive coach.
During Cordingley’s four-year tenure, the Rock reached the NLL Championship Game in his first two seasons behind the bench, winning in 2011. The Rock lost in the second round of the playoffs in 2012 and were ousted in the first round of this spring’s playoffs. In each of those last two seasons, Toronto won the East Division title and in 2013 finished first overall in the NLL regular season standings.
New head coach John Lovell was an assistant coach with Toronto for each of the past four seasons and was also an assistant to Terry Sanderson from 2004 to 2006 with the Rock winning the NLL title with Toronto in 2005 and of course in 2011 alongside Cordingley. He was also an assistant to Sanderson in 2002.
“John is very familiar with everything about the Rock and where we want to be,” explained Sanderson. “We feel we have a number of people qualified to be a head coach in our league within our organization and promoting from within the franchise gives us a very qualified head coach.”
This will be Lovell’s first head coaching job in the NLL but he does have head coaching experience in the summer leagues. Outside the pro ranks, his lacrosse coaching career spans over 30 years at the Junior A, Junior B, Senior B and Major levels.
“It’s an honor and I’m humbled to be named the head coach of the Toronto Rock,” said Lovell. “It’s a difficult time as Troy, Terry and I had developed a strong relationship over four years with some real success. Moving forward it’s a challenge, people involved want to see some changes.”
Lovell will name his assistant coaches in the coming weeks.
“There are some things that are pretty important to me,” Lovell said about filling out his bench staff. “I’m going to step back and talk to some people. We’ll develop the whole system from there and be sure we’re all on the same page.”