NEWS RELEASE from Canadian Men’s Indoor Lacrosse Team
BANISTER, HEDGES AND BROWN TO PLAY KEY ROLES
Brad Banister and Dr. Don Hedges will be assistant general managers and Stuart Brown will be director of lacrosse operations on Canada’s team for the world indoor lacrosse tournament.
The appointments round out the management group headed by executive director Dean French and general manager Johnny Mouradian.
“Brad and Don are welcome additions to Team Canada’s leadership group and Stu Brown worked well with Johnny and I on the national field lacrosse program earlier this year,’’ French said in making the announcement Friday.
Canada will be seeking a third straight world indoor championship next May 21-28 in Prague, where lacrosse has carved out a niche in the Czech Republic sports scene. The lineup will be comprised primarily of National Lacrosse League pros.
As announced last week, Ed Comeau is Canada’s head coach, Derek Keenan and Paul Day are assistant coaches, Glenn Clark is goaltending coach and Jim Milligan is video coach.
Banister is owner-GM of the Calgary Roughnecks, who won NLL titles in 2004 and 2009.
“I’ve been running our team for 10 years now and it has been a challenge but I always look forward to new challenges and this is going to be another one,’’ says Banister. “To be with Team Canada is exciting.
“The meetings and calls we’ve already had have been refreshing. I know that putting together the best team in the world is going to be a rewarding experience and I’m very pleased and honoured to be a part of it. Dean and Johnny have assembled a great group.’’
Hedges specializes in sports medicine in the Vancouver region and he is president of senior box lacrosse’s Coquitlam Adanacs. He was team doctor with Canada’s victorious 2007 men’s indoor team. He sees his role as being primarily in the medical realm but he’ll also be the 2011 team’s liaison with the British Columbia Lacrosse Association and he will also assist in player selections.
“His input on B.C.-based players who he sees so regularly every summer during the senior season there will be invaluable,’’ says Mouradian.
Hedges says that he’s confident when assessing the quality of the management group, the coaching staff and the player talent pool that gold can again be won. What is it about the sport that captures his attention?
“Lacrosse is the perfect mixture of basketball and hockey and it’s the most exciting sport in the world,’’ he says. “I love the level of commitment of the players.’’
Brown is president of the Toronto Nationals of field lacrosse’s Major Lacrosse League and worked closely with French and Mouradian in helping to manage the silver-medal field team in Manchester.
“It is a tremendous honour to be asked to represent your country, especially when you look around at the people you are working with,’’ says Brown. “I’m very excited to again be working with Dean and Johnny after a great experience last summer.
“I hope to bring some lessons learned from that experience to help move the ball forward with our national program. I am also really looking forward to working with all the guys on the management and coaching sides. We have assembled a terrific team and I look forward to learning from some of the best in the business.’’
Banister is delighted with the men who’ll make up the coaching staff.
“The amount of history behind the guys on the coaching staff is amazing,’’ he says.
Comeau and Keenan were assistant coaches with Toronto’s NLL team for four championships and are being reunited by Team Canada.
“Eddie and I worked together for five very successful years in Toronto and always had great chemistry,’’ says Keenan, now GM-coach of the NLL’s Edmonton Rush. “Since we went our separate ways back in 2004, we’ve always talked about coaching together again. The opportunity is now here and I really look forward to it.’’
Comeau and Day coached together on the Rochester Knighthawks’ NLL staff and both won championships as head coach of that team. For the 2011 NLL season, Comeau will be an assistant coach of the Colorado Mammoth and Day will be a Knighthawks assistant. Comeau was head coach and Day an assistant last winter with the now-defunct Orlando Titans of the NLL.
Keenan once played on the same team as Day and, although they’ve known each other for many years on opposing NLL teams, they hadn’t been on the same coaching staff until they were named to Team Canada. They are looking forward to it.
“I have a lot of respect for Paul’s knowledge and passion for the game,’’ says Keenan.
Team Canada media contact at firstname.lastname@example.org