New coach for Stealth
The Vancouver Stealth are making a move behind the bench after a recurrence of throat cancer for head coach Chris Hall.
Dan Perreault — who had served as the National Lacrosse League team’s offensive coach — will replace Hall behind the bench.
“It has been a difficult decision for me, but necessary,” Hall said in a conference call on Tuesday announcing the move.
Hall, who had been undergoing routine maintenance during this past season, said a biopsy showed the cancer had returned.
The long-time coach — he has been with the Stealth since 2009 — will remain in the organization as a senior advisor.
“He was a mentor to many of us and a role model to me,” said Doug Locker, the team’s president and general manager.
The fact the team did not go outside the organization for a new head coach is of little surprise.
“He was the only choice and a good one,” Hall said. “He is the right person for the job.”
“We are excited to have Dan Perreault take on this new role and new challenge,” Locker said, adding that when Perreault was hired as the team’s offensive coach two seasons ago, the move was made with an eye on having him replace Hall down the road.
“His knowledge, experience, leadership skills and strength of character will stand the Stealth in good stead,” Hall said.
Since Hall took over in 2009, the Stealth won one NLL championship (2010) and appeared in two other Champion’s Cup finals. He was also the league’s top coach in 2010.
Hall ranked third all-time in the NLL for victories with 96 and his 11 playoff victories rank fourth. He is also just one of three coaches to have won a Champion’s Cup with multiple teams after leading Calgary to the title in 2004.
But the team slumped this past season — their first in Langley at the Langley Events Centre — with a 4-14 record.
Goal-scoring was a problem for the team, but Perreault feels the pieces are in place for the team to return to the post-season.
“We have a quality core of guys here,” he said. “I think some guys just had off years.
“The Stealth have a winning tradition and I look forward to infusing my style into the team and fulfilling that tradition in the seasons ahead.”
Perreault is also the head coach of the New Westminster Salmonbellies junior A team and was named coach of the year in the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League in 2008.
He is also an accomplished player, having won two Minto Cup (Canadian junior A championship) and he ranks in the top five all-time in career points with 536 in 133 games. He finished with 251 goals and 285 assists. In 182 senior A games in the Western Lacrosse Association, Perreault had 469 points (213 goals, 256 assists).
He was inducted to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2009.