Dan Perreault was relieved of his coaching duties with the Vancouver Stealth this morning, with general manager Doug Locker working quickly to announce his replacement behind the bench, Jamie Batley.
Batley has been credited as a major force behind the rejuvenation of the MSL’s Peterborough Lakers and has had various head coaching experience in the NLL. He was most recently the head coach of the Toronto Rock and has also been the bench boss of some now-defunct teams such as the Chicago Shamrox. He has won five Mann Cup’s with the Lakers, taking them to 10 straight MSL finals from 2002-2012, as well.
With the Stealth sitting in the basement of the NLL’s West Division and one of the worst teams in the league since their relocation to Langley, B.C., it was time to make a change in order to salvage an incredibly important season in terms of maintaining a strong fan base within the community. It was clear the team wasn’t going to drastically alter the things they needed to alter with Perreault behind the bench, the offense still inconsistent and the wins few and far between.
Batley has been around lacrosse circles for a long time, coaching over 80 games in the NLL and regarded as a players’ coach with a strong track record. When Batley was removed as head coach and general manager of the Lakers in 2013, Tracey Kelusky called the move “baffling” given his history with the team.
The hope is likely that Batley can re-energize a group of players who likely have had some frustration creep in throughout the season. He’ll have a tough task ahead of him with the Saskatchewan Rush coming to town this Saturday.
“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to coach the Vancouver Stealth,” Batley said.
“I’ve known Jamie for years and have always respected his knowledge of the game and his leadership,” Locker said about Batley on NLL.com.
If a move was ever to be made, now was the it. The Stealth are still only a game behind Calgary for the final playoff spot in the West