Rochester's Mike Hasen, Edmonton's Derek Keenan & Calgary's Curt Malawsky are 2014 NLL Head Coach of the Year finalists.
The National Lacrosse League has announced three finalists for the 2014 NLL Head Coach of the Year (The Les Bartley Award). The Rochester Knighthawks' Mike Hasen, Edmonton Rush's Derek Keenan and Calgary Roughnecks' Curt Malawsky were the top three vote-getters for their head coaching roles with their respective teams.
Hasen led Rochester to the top of the East Division with a 14-4 record, second best in the NLL, in his fourth season as head coach. The defending champions went 12-1 in the division and posted an 8-1 record at home. The Knighthawks allowed 167 goals, second-fewest in the league, and boasted two players in the league's top five for scoring, including the NLL's leading scorer. The Toronto, Ont. native played 13 years in the league including nine seasons with the Knighthawks. Hasen served as an assistant coach with Rochester for two years before his promotion in 2011 where he won the Les Bartley Award in his first season as head coach.
Keenan, who also serves as the Rush's general manager, coached Edmonton to a historic season which included a league-record 14-0 start and culminated with a 16-2 record as the top overall seed in the NLL standings to clinch the franchise's first home playoff game. The Rush allowed a league-low 157 goals and finished second in the league with 220 goals scored. The Oshawa, Ont. native, who played three seasons in the league, has been head coach of the Rush since 2009. Keenan had five previous years of head coaching experience after five seasons as an assistant coach. Keenan won the Les Bartley Award in 2006 and was a co-winner in 2010.
Malawsky, who doubles as the team's assistant general manager, guided Calgary to second in the West Division with a 12-6 record, good for third overall in the league. The Roughnecks scored 237 goals this season, tops in the NLL for the second-straight year. Calgary had three players in the league's top 10 for points and goal scoring and boasted the NLL's best power play (55%) and penalty kill (67%). The Coquitlam, B.C. native finished his 12-year playing career with the Roughnecks in 2009 and has served as head coach for two seasons after joining the coaching staff as an associate coach in summer 2009.
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 passed away in May 2005 after battling with cancer, left behind a coaching legacy. He won seven championship rings in his 12-year coaching career and tallied an astonishing 93-38 (.710) regular season record behind the bench.
The 2014 NLL Season Awards are determined by a vote of the league's Board of Governors, General Managers and Head Coaches at the end of the regular season. The winners will be announced at the first-ever NLL Season Awards Ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 21 in Oakville, Ont.
The schedule of finalist announcement for the remaining NLL Season Awards is as follows:
Thursday, June 12: Defensive Player of the Year award finalists
Monday, June 16: Transition Player of the Year award finalists
Tuesday, June 17: Goaltender of the Year award finalists
Wednesday, June 18: Rookie of the Year award finalists
Thursday, June 19: Most Valuable Player award finalists
Monday, June 23: Executive of the Year award finalists
Tuesday, June 24: Media Person of the Year (The Tom Borrelli Award)