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Coach Insights: Tracey Kelusky, Panther City Lacrosse Club

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.

For this series, NLL.com sent a questionnaire (loosely based on the Proust Questionnaire) to each team’s head coach 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 Tracey Kelusky of the Panther City Lacrosse Club. Kelusky played 14 seasons in the NLL for Columbus, Montreal, Calgary, Buffalo and Philadelphia. He was the League’s Rookie of the Year (2001), a two-time NLL champion (2004/2009) and now is a member of the NLL Hall of Fame (Class of 2016). After his playing career, he transitioned into coaching with the New England Black Wolves before joining the expansion Philadelphia Wings as their offensive coordinator until he was hired as the head coach in Panther City. He was named the 2022 Les Bartley Coach of the Year. From Peterborough, Ontario, Kelusky is also a coach for his hometown Peterborough Lakers, where he has won four Mann Cup national championships as a player and four as a coach.

 

NLL.com: At what age did you start playing lacrosse?
Tracey Kelusky: 10

NLL.com: At what age did you start coaching lacrosse?
Tracey Kelusky: 16

NLL.com: What are three key attributes you look for in players you want on your team?
Tracey Kelusky: 1. Coachability 2. Hard working 3. Accountable

NLL.com: What is your favourite pre-game meal? Is it different when you’re coaching than it was when you were playing?
Tracey Kelusky: Playing: Italian Cold Cut Sub – Coaching: Dino’s Sub Shop in Arlington, TX

NLL.com: Who controls the music in the dressing room?
Tracey Kelusky: Phil Caputo

NLL.com: Do you like the music that is played in the dressing room?
Tracey Kelusky: 0.0% chance

NLL.com: How important is winning faceoffs to winning games?
Tracey Kelusky: A factor, but on the lower side

NLL.com: Which team in the NLL, current or former, has had the best jerseys?
Tracey Kelusky: Montreal Express

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?
Tracey Kelusky: I delegate the tactical game plan – they figure it out and we go over it. I manage throughout the course of the game and make adjustments

NLL.com: What is your favourite NLL road trip?
Tracey Kelusky: Denver

NLL.com: At what age do goalies generally reach the peak of their career?
Tracey Kelusky: Late 20s

NLL.com: Other than lacrosse, what is your favourite sport to watch?
Tracey Kelusky: Hockey

NLL.com: Other than lacrosse, what is your favourite sport to play?
Tracey Kelusky: Golf

NLL.com: What country will the first player from outside North America to play regularly in the NLL come from?
Tracey Kelusky: Finland

NLL.com: Where would you like to see a world box lacrosse championship played?
Tracey Kelusky: Finland

NLL.com: Who is the best box lacrosse player of all time?
Tracey Kelusky: John Grant Jr.

 

READ MORE:

Coach Insights: Paul Day, Philadelphia
Coach Insights: Ed Comeau, Georgia

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