Toronto Rock: John Lovell Fully Deserves Contract Extension


Giving John Lovell a Contract Extension was the right move by the Toronto Rock

The Toronto Rock have signed John Lovell to a fully deserved contract extension. The head coach set a new franchise record for regular season wins, during the 2015 campaign.

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The news was first reported by The deal is for two years, and will take Lovell through the 2017 season.

The retired school teacher took over as head coach in 2014. He led the Rock to the playoffs in his first season, with a 9-9 record.

However, it was Lovell’s second season, when people really started to take notice. After leading the team to the best record in the NLL, he took them all the way to the Champion’s Cup final.

As you can imagine, the 63-year old was delighted to sign his contract extension, as he told “I am really happy to be back.

“I enjoy the organization and everyone around it.  Jamie is a great person to work for and I love the staff.”

Unsurprisingly, Lovell is already looking ahead to next season: “We still have a pretty good team and there’s some unfinished business after losing in the final last season.

Jan 3, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Head coach John Lovell speaks to the media after the Toronto Rock home opener at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Paul Taylor – freelance

“We have two number one goaltenders, our defence made great strides last season and we need to continue to make improvements.  Repeating the offensive production is also something we need to do to have success.”

Despite only coaching the Rock for two seasons, Lovell has already moved into fourth place for franchise career wins. He should overtake the late, great Terry Sanderson next season and is well positioned to move up to second place before the end of his contract extension.

The Ontario native previously won two Champions Cups with the Rock, as an assistant coach. However, nothing would give him greater pleasure, than to win another one as a head coach.

Lovell said: “As a coach you are always trying to get better and make better decisions…Last year, the buy-in from the guys was like something I’d never been around before.

“We had strong motivation, strong messages and that buy-in led to the success we had.  We need that kind of buy-in again, realizing it is team first.”

Rock owner, president and general manager Jamie Dawick was responsible for re-signing Lovell. He explained his reasoning for the two-year extension, to

Dawick said: “John has been here since I bought the team. I’m familiar with what he’s about and who he is.

“He’s done a great job as head coach in his first two years.  I feel confident in rewarding him with a new 2-year deal and he’s the head coach of this team going forward as we pursue our goal of winning another championship.”

It remains to be seen if Lovell can indeed add that championship. However, with his work ethic and attention to detail, you have to feel good about his chances.

Next: Key games from the Rocks' 2016 schedule

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