The New Westminster Salmonbellies have announced their new coaching staff and fans will be excited to learn that they recognize all the faces involved.
Former assistant coach, Ken Thomas, takes over at the helm while Chris Gill and Troy Poelzer both make a return to their positions as his assistants.
Thomas first took his place as a Salmonbellies’ assistant for the 2008 season and has pulled double duty as the Assistant GM and Alternate Governor of the club since then. The Canadian Lacrosse Association inducted him into the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010, honouring him for his thirteen seasons and numerous accomplishments as a player in the WLA.
Gill and Poelzer are no strangers to the Bellies bench, either, but this will be their first chance to unite as peers. Gill retired as a player after the 2009 season and transitioned straight into an assistant coaching position by early 2010. He was, in fact, hired as a replacement for Poelzer who took a year off coaching while still holding the position of Director of Collegiate Scouting.
Since the release of veteran coach Bob Salt in November, rumours have circulated about who would step into his shoes. Few predicted the organization would resort to a simple organizational shuffle to fill the vacancy.
After winning a third consecutive WLA Championship and coming up short at the Mann Cup, the organization felt that it was time for a coaching change.
“Ken’s passion, professionalism and attention to detail will undoubtedly elevate the team’s play,” says President and GM, Dan Richardson. “To have Chris and Troy coming back is just the icing on the cake.”
The Bellies will open up training camp in April and begin the quest in earnest for the club’s 25th Mann Cup with their first game of the season on May 22.
Carly Rigby , Public Relations Manager, New Westminster Sr Salmonbellies