Players garner the majority of attention in National Lacrosse League coverage, with good reason. They make the plays that win and lose games, and that delight the fans. But behind every team is a coaching staff that is critical to its operation and success, and they deserve some notice as well.
NLL.com sent a questionnaire (loosely based on the Proust Questionnaire) to various head coaches with the goal of learning a little more about the men behind the benches and their backgrounds in the game. It is also a chance to have a bit of fun and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of an NLL team.
In this edition, we hear from Ed Comeau of the Georgia Swarm. Comeau is second in all-time NLL regular season coaching wins with 122. He has won the NLL Cup as an assistant or head coach with Toronto, Rochester and Georgia. In 2007, he was named winner of the Les Bartley Award as NLL Coach of the Year with Rochester, and won again in 2017 with Georgia. Comeau was also the NLL’s General Manager of the Year in 2009 with the New York Titans.
NLL.com: At what age did you start playing lacrosse?
Ed Comeau: Five years old.
NLL.com: At what age did you start coaching lacrosse?
Ed Comeau: Helped at 15, coached at 24.
NLL.com: What are three key attributes you look for in players you want on your team?
Ed Comeau: Coachability – Willing to adapt, learn and follow instructions; Attitude – Positive and team oriented; Commitment – Willing to do whatever it takes
NLL.com: What is your favourite pre-game meal? Is it different when you’re coaching than it was when you were playing?
Ed Comeau: None.
NLL.com: Who controls the music in the dressing room?
Ed Comeau: The players.
NLL.com: Do you like the music that is played in the dressing room?
Ed Comeau: Some, not all – I have concerns about the language.
NLL.com: How important is winning faceoffs to winning games?
Ed Comeau: No correlation to winning games, but would I rather win or lose them? Yes, I would like to win. Some very good face-off guys in the league and having a plan to win and lose is important.
NLL.com: Which team in the NLL, current or former, has had the best jerseys?
Ed Comeau: Portland. I like the Rock’s third jersey (their black and gold tribute to Hamilton).
NLL.com: What elements of coaching the team do you delegate to your assistant coaches and what do you prefer to have more control over?
Ed Comeau: O and D video and individual coaching to assistants. For me – Addressing the team so they have one voice.
NLL.com: What is your favourite NLL road trip?
Ed Comeau: Colorado.
NLL.com: At what age do goalies generally reach the peak of their career?
Ed Comeau: 30.
NLL.com: Other than lacrosse, what is your favourite sport to watch?
Ed Comeau: Hockey and football (CFL)
NLL.com: Other than lacrosse, what is your favourite sport to play?
Ed Comeau: Don’t play much anymore – golf.
NLL.com: From what country will the first player from outside North America to play regularly in the NLL come?
Ed Comeau: Czech Republic
NLL.com: Where would you like to see a world box lacrosse championship played?
Ed Comeau: Europe
NLL.com: Who is the best box lacrosse player of all time?
Ed Comeau: Gary Gait because he changed the game, and John Tavares for his longevity.
Answers have been edited for clarity.