Photo Credit: Dan Brodie
There are always critics, but there is no doubt that the Vancouver Stealth has a gem in President/GM Doug Locker. Entering his 11th year with the Stealth Doug also entered his new role as President. This dual role with the Stealth would seem impossible for some, but Locker’s work ethic and expertise in lacrosse management gives him the edge to take on the task.
Doug’s knowledge and management for lacrosse goes way beyond his time with the Stealth. In the NCAA Doug had a stellar career both recruiting and coaching at Whittier College (CA). Winning 10 League Titles and NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year honors. After 23 years at Whittier he took his skills to Notre Dame de Namur University (CA) in a new role as Director of Athletics.
Since joining the Stealth staff Doug has made many roster moves to land savvy vets, and recruited some of the finest rookies in the game of lacrosse. Just as anyone else in his position he is always in the cross hairs of critics and die-hard fans. This was no more apparent than the move made to trade Paul Rabil and a first round pick from the Stealth to Edmonton for Athan Iannucci. Paul came to WA as a fan favorite, riding his successful field career and skills to the top of the lacrosse world. Seen by many young field players in the area as the No. 1 player in the world. Many not even having knowledge of whom Iannucci was, as he had been absent from playing for various reasons.
The trade came and went, and the Stealth fell to the waste side in 2012 after two consecutive Champion’s Cup runs. The kicker, they lost out on the chance to draft the very talented Mark Mathews as the Edmonton Rush were the benefactors via the Rabil/Iannucci trade. To start the 2013 season the Stealth released veterans Jeff Zywicki and Eric Martin, two fan favorites. Many fans scratching their heads, and thinking of looking at another bad season for the Stealth win column. The regular season came and went with mixed results, but all would be forgotten as the Stealth once again made it to the Champion’s Cup final, hosting the Rochester Knighthawks in what would be their new home. Doug’s efforts in making the right moves to get the Stealth back to the top rewarded with the 2013 GM of the Year Award.
We all know what a great game it was, a battle between two very talented teams. It came down to the wire, with the Knighthawks edging out the Stealth and hoisting the Champion’s Cup on their home turf. It was a sad day for many Stealth fans, but the true sadness for WA fans came in June, when they announced the move to the LEC. With that move came more challenges, all of which have been handled with care and grace by the staff and leadership in Locker.