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Knighthawks name Paul Gait coach

Gary’s back in the National Lacrosse League and now Paul is too.

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The Rochester Knighthawks on Friday named Paul Gait their new head coach, reports Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle. He replaces Paul Suggate, who resigned on Wednesday before ever coaching even a single game for the Knighthawks. Paul Gait was part of the inaugural 1995 Rochester Knighthawks team and helped the Knighthawks win the 1997 title as the league’s MVP that season. “I’m looking forward to a great season and to have a great start to my coaching career,” Paul said in an interview posted on the team’s Web site. “To be back involved with players again is a great situation for me. I’ve missed it a lot.” Paul will be coaching is brother Gary, the forward who was lured out of retirement to play for the Knighthawks and help offset the loss of star scorer John Grant Jr., who will miss the 2009 season due to injury.

Paul’s first practice as coach of the team is Sunday at the Sports Garden in Rochester, where the Knighthawks will practice at 9 a.m.

Paul says he’s followed the Knighthawks since he left the team in 1998 and is excited to return. There’s long been talent in Rochester, he said, and loves the fact that he’s working with some familiar faces in the front office. Regy Thorpe is the team’s GM, Tim Soudan is the assistant GM and Mike Hasen is the team’s defensive coordinator.

“It’s Knighthawks central here,” he joked. “Which is a good thing. The people involved in the back office here had great careers. They’ve meant a lot to the lacrosse community locally.”

Paul Gait is a National Lacrosse League Hall of Famer and 11-time All-Pro. His 13-year playing career saw him spend time in Detroit, Philadelphia, Rochester, Syracuse, Washington and Colorado. His 410 career goals still ranks No. 3 all-time. In his native Canada, he won a Minto Cup in 1988 and won four Mann Cup titles (1990, 1994, 1995 and 1999).

Chavez is an avid lacrosse player in Rochester and a journalist for the Democrat and Chronicle as well as a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at bob.chavez@nllinsider.com or go to RochesterSports.com.

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