Ryan was looking forward to 2011 season with B’s prior to axe falling, rumoured Boston coaching candidates
Last week’s completely out of left field announcement that saw the Boston Blazers fire Head Coach Tom Ryan was short, sweet and direct, but gave little indication of why Ryan was booted, the former Philadelphia Wings cult hero previously guiding the Blazers to consecutive playoff births during their first two seasons in the National Lacrosse League.
Ryan worked as both the team’s GM and coach leading up to and during their first season in the NLL, stepping down from Boston’s managerial role after the B’s impressive 10-6 expansion season, then and still now team President Doug Reffue taking over as GM.
Although Ryan was unable to delve into the reasons why he felt he was released just weeks before the start of the 2011 season, due to stipulations in his very recently signed termination papers, sources close to the franchise have indicated to IL Indoor that there may have been growing friction between Ryan and Reffue, ultimately leading to last week’s shocking axe fall.
“I cannot begin to express my gratitude toward Tim Armstrong and the Armstrong Family for the opportunity they gave me,” said Ryan in regards to the club’s ownership group, the Blazers owned by current AOL Inc. CEO and chariman Tim Armstrong, who also previously served as President of Google’s American operations.
Currently emblazoned on the front of Inside Lacrosse’s NLL Preview Issue, the Blazers go into the 2011 season as serious Champion’s Cup contenders led by a high profile offensive cast which saw both Josh Sanderson and Casey Powell added to an equation that also already included former league MVP Dan Dawson.
“I was really enjoying the group that we had assembled this year and was looking forward to the start of the season,” added Ryan, who led the now almost three-year-old franchise to an 18-14 regular season record in the two years he served as head coach. “The success of the Blazers is bigger than any one individual. It is important for the city of Boston and the lacrosse community in New England.”
Although IL Indoor had yet to receive any additional comment from Reffue leading into the Christmas weekend, the team’s release quotes him as saying, “The decision to release Tom was a very difficult one for me. Tom has been an instrumental force in getting the Blazers franchise launched. He has proven himself a great evaluator of talent and his passion for lacrosse is unmatched. We wish him well.”
The Blazers press release gave no indication of who would potentially be serving as the team’s interim head coach or whether a full-time replacement for Ryan was something they were close to finalizing. Also not mentioned in the team statement was the status of assistant coaches Randy Fraser and Corey Hallman, although IL Indoor was able to confirm through sources close to the team that as of last Thursday, when news first broke of Ryan’s release, both were still employed by the franchise.
Several names have been rumoured as potential replacements since Ryan’s dismissal last week, including former NLL Coach of the Year Adam Mueller, who left the league soon after his individual accolades in order to spend more time with his family; Ed Comeau, who currently serves as an assistant on Bob Hamley’s staff in Denver; Bob McMahon, a new assistant with the Calgary Roughnecks; Jamie Batley, who last coached in the NLL with the Toronto Rock two seasons ago, also winning a Mann Cup with the Peterborough Lakers this past summer; current Philadelphia Wings assistant Blane Harrison; and former San Jose Stealth head coach and current Team Ireland boss Jeff Dowling.
If any presently spoken for rumoured coaches listed above are in fact on the Blazers list of potental candidates, the team would need to be given permission by the club who currently employs said coach. Teams have been disciplined in the past for discussing and/or offering employment with already attached assistant coaches.
Ryan, who many felt deserved serious consideration for both GM and Coach of the Year honours during Boston’s expansion season, currently serves as Team USA’s head coach for the 2011 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships.
Of the rumoured candidates mentioned, who do you think the Blazers should hire as their new head coach?
- Ed Comeau (25%, 191 Votes)
- Jeff Dowling (22%, 168 Votes)
- Adam Mueller (20%, 155 Votes)
- Jamie Batley (14%, 110 Votes)
- Current assistant Randy Fraser or Corey Hallman (8%, 62 Votes)
- Other (7%, 54 Votes)
- Bob McMahon (4%, 28 Votes)
- Blane Harrison (0%, 10 Votes)
Total Voters: 778
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