The Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse today announced their coaching staff for the 2014 season. Head Coach John Tucker begins his second season at the helm of the Cannons and has named his assistants for the upcoming MLL season. Tom Slate and Andrew Pons are new additions to the Cannons coaching staff, and Jim Murphy returns for his 12th season with the organization.
“When we promoted John to head coach during last season, we both made the commitment that he would lead this team beyond the 2013 season,” said Cannons General Manager Kevin Barney. “Coach Tucker has been working hard this off-season on putting together a roster that we both feel will compete for a championship and now we have added assistants who will help him put his vision into motion on the field.”
Tom Slate joins the Cannons coaching staff bringing with him an extensive lacrosse resume as both a player and coach. Slate is currently the President and CEO of Lacrosse Evolution in Downingtown, PA. Slate is a former MLL head coach, leading both the Denver Outlaws and San Francisco Dragons. He also served as assistant coach of the Philadelphia Barrage where he helped the team win back to back MLL Championships in 2006-2007. Slate coached the Downingtown East High School for seven seasons, leading them to the Pennsylvania State Championship in 2007.
“I am extremely excited to get back into the MLL with John Tucker and the Boston Cannons. I’m confident I can help John and the Cannons get back to where they need and want to be,” said Slate. “As a coach, in any sport the challenge of trying to put the puzzle together and get it all working together is the goal with John leading the way I’m certain we can do this.”
“As our new Defensive Coordinator, Tom Slate brings us a wealth of winning coaching experience,” said Coach Tucker. “He is a true professional, an excellent communicator who possesses an outstanding defensive mind. Tom is a hard-working, high character individual and is a tremendous addition to our franchise.”
Slate is a former player for the Baltimore Bayhawks of MLL and the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League. He was part of the Wings team that won the NLL Championship in 1998 & 2001. Slate’s successes date back to his high school playing days. He was named First Team High School All American and Captain of the 1992 Springfield High School Lacrosse State Champions that went 24-0.
“We couldn’t ask for a better resume from an assistant coach than Tom Slate,” said Barney. “Tom not only has the experience as a successful player and coach, he is also respected by by players and coaches throughout the lacrosse community.”
Andrew Pons will be starting his first season on a MLL coaching staff. Andy brings over 20 years of lacrosse experience with him to the Cannons. Andy is currently the National Team Director of the Dallas based, Coast to Coast Lacrosse program which serves over 1200 boys in Dallas, Raleigh, Richmond, Atlanta and Austin, TX. Andy also co-founded Futures Lacrosse last year and continues to run the Laxtensity Training Program for over 200 girls in Atlanta area. He has also spent time coaching with Maryland Lacrosse Club and Baltimore Crabs. Andy graduated in 1988 after a successful three sport career at McDaniel College.
“I’m excited to bring Andy Pons onto the Cannons staff,” said Coach Tucker. “Serving as Assistant Coach and Advance Scout, Andy will assist the staff with preparation for the supplemental and collegiate draft as well as scouting during the 2014 season.”
Jim Murphy returns for his 12th season with the Cannons coaching staff. During his tenure with the Cannons Murphy has been involved with all aspects of the coaching staff including draft and trade decisions. His primary responsibilities have been working with the goalies and face-off midfielders. Murphy is currently the head coach at Bentley College, where he has served since 1993. He is a three-time Northeast-10 Coach of the Year award winner, and has led the Falcons to four league championships. Under Murphy, from 1994-1998, Bentley was 31-2 in league play. He also serves as Operations Manager of Athletics at Bentley.
“I’m happy to announce that Coach Murphy will be returning for his 12th season with the Cannons,” said Coach Tucker. “Jim helped me through the coaching transition last season and his knowledge of our players and the lacrosse community throughout New England will be invaluable.”
The Cannons have been active this off-season making three significant trades. They have acquired 6-time MLL Defensive Player of the Year Brodie Merrill, midfielder Martin Cahill, midfielder Will Mangan, defensemen Diogo Godoi, along with a 1st and 2nd Round Draft Pick in the 2014 Collegiate Draft.