Posts Tagged ‘Head Coach’

The Detroit Red Wings hired Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Derek Lalonde to be their next head coach.

Lalonde spent the last four seasons serving on the Bolts’ bench and he helped the team to three straight finals appearances as well as two consecutive Stanley Cup championships in 2020 and 2021.

“I’m very pleased to announce Derek as our new head coach,” Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman said. “He has proven himself as an excellent coach at every level and has spent the last four seasons in the National Hockey League as part of a very successful program in Tampa Bay. We feel he is ready to take the next step in his career as the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings.”

Lalonde was named an assistant coach in Tampa in 2018 when Yzerman served as the team’s vice president and general manager.

This is Lalonde’s first full-time head coaching job at the NHL level, but he was previously the head coach of the AHL’s Iowa Wild from 2016-18 and of the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye from 2014-16.

He also briefly stepped in as head coach for the Lightning in late December when Jon Cooper was placed in COVID-19 protocol. The Bolts won two games under Lalonde’s guidance.

Lalonde is replacing Jeff Blashill, who parted ways with Detroit after the 2021-22 season. The rebuilding Red Wings finished in sixth place in the tough Atlantic Division with a 32-40-10 record and failed to make the playoffs for a sixth straight season.

The young squad continued to make strides despite another losing campaign. Rookies Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond especially injected plenty of excitement into Hockeytown.

“I’m thrilled to be named head coach of the Red Wings. … I’m ready to get to work with our group. There’s a very bright future ahead in Detroit,” Lalonde said.

The San Jose Sharks fired head coach Bob Boughner, the team announced Friday.

Assistant coaches John Madden, John MacLean, and Dan Darrow were also let go.

Boughner took over behind San Jose’s bench during the 2019-20 campaign and had one year left on his contract. He posted a 67-85-23 record through 175 games with the club and never qualified for the playoffs.

San Jose is also seeking a new general manager. Joe Will held the position on an interim basis this past season after 19-year veteran Doug Wilson stepped down.

“As we progress through our search for the next general manager of the Sharks following 19 seasons under Doug Wilson’s leadership, it has become apparent that the organization is in the process of an evolution,” Will said.

“The bottom line is we have missed the playoffs for the past three seasons, which isn’t acceptable to our owner, our organization, or to our fans. As part of this evolution and evaluation, we felt it was in the best interest of the club to allow the next Sharks general manager to have full autonomy related to the makeup of the on-ice coaching staff moving ahead.”

The NHL’s coaching carousel has been in full swing since the regular season ended, with nine clubs making changes behind the bench.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence praised Doug Pederson on Tuesday, saying the head coach’s leadership has been a difference-maker for the franchise so far.

“We’re building toward something special,” Lawrence said, according to CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin. “It’s been great, just the way (Doug) interacts with the team, the way he leads. I think personality-wise, we’re similar. We get along well.”

Lawrence added: “Obviously, he played quarterback, he’s won a Super Bowl as a player and as a coach, so he knows how to get there. He knows how to do it. I think that’s really important to have in a leader like that. And just the energy he’s brought to the building has been awesome.”

Pederson joined Jacksonville in February to replace Urban Meyer, who was fired partway through last season after a 2-11 start. The 54-year-old Pederson, who spent 2021 away from football, last coached the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016-20, winning one Super Bowl with the team. He also lifted the Lombardi Trophy as a backup quarterback for the Green Bay Packers during the 1996 season.

Lawrence, the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, struggled as a rookie, completing just 59.6% of his passes for 3,641 yards and 12 touchdowns against a league-high 17 interceptions. The Jaguars finished the season 3-14, the worst record in the NFL.

“I think (last year) really taught me how to stay the same every day, to be consistent,” Lawrence said. “Just my attitude, my work ethic, no matter how things are going. I know what it’s like to struggle as a rookie.

“Now in my second year, I have a good feel for the schedule (and) can really feel like I’m prepared.”

Head coach Mike Tomlin dismissed the possibility of a Pittsburgh Steelers reunion with wide receiver Antonio Brown.

“Y’all know that ain’t happening,” Tomlin said on the latest episode of “The Pivot” podcast.

“In terms of putting a helmet on and running out of the tunnel and playing ball and stuff like that, man, you know he’s moved on, and we’ve moved on. We can sit around and chop that up like it’s a realistic conversation, but we know that’s not realistic.”

Brown recently expressed a desire to finish his career with the Steelers last month. He later clarified he would just like to retire with the franchise that drafted him in the sixth round in 2010.

Brown developed into one of the most potent receivers in the league as a member of the Steelers, ranking second in franchise history with 837 receptions, 11,207 yards, and 74 touchdowns.

While Tomlin disregarded the notion of bringing Brown back, he did express fond memories of the wideout’s tenure in Pittsburgh.

“What I’ll say about AB is this, man: We had nine great years,” he said. “I appreciate that dude in ways that I can’t explain to y’all. I won’t even bother to attempt to explain to y’all because it sounds like I’m defending him in some way. And to me, from that standpoint, the nature of our relationship and what we all did together requires no defense.

“You could digest it however you want to digest it. I don’t think enough gets said about the will of that dude. About the work ethic of that dude. About the fearlessness in which he played the game.”

The four-time All-Pro has since had stints with the New England Patriots, Las Vegas Raiders, and most recently the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brown, who turns 34 in July, has experienced multiple run-ins with the law. His former trainer said he sexually assaulted her, and another woman said he sexually harassed her before sending her intimidating texts in 2019. He was charged with felony burglary in 2020 and then suspended eight games for multiple personal conduct violations.

The Buccaneers cut Brown after he ran off the field during the team’s Week 17 matchup against the New York Jets. He currently remains a free agent.

During a break between Golden State’s Western Conference finals games against Dallas, then-Warriors top assistant Mike Brown jumped on a plane to San Diego to watch his new star De’Aaron Fox work out and take the Sacramento guard and his family to lunch.

Brown got right back on a plane afterward to rejoin Golden State for playoff preparations.

At last Tuesday, Brown was formally introduced as the Kings’ new coach, just one day after celebrating the Warriors’ fourth championship in eight years with a victory parade through San Francisco.

“I’ve been heavily involved,” Brown said of getting going with the Kings as the schedule permitted. “I’ve talked to every single player on multiple occasions.”

Sacramento hired the well-traveled Brown in May but he stayed with the Warriors through their postseason run that ended with the franchise’s fourth championship in eight years last Thursday night in the clinching Game 6 at Boston.

“First of all, I’d like to start out by thanking everyone in Warrior land,” Brown said.

The 52-year-old Brown will be tasked with ending the league’s longest playoff drought ever at 16 years. He takes over for previous Warriors top assistant Luke Walton, hired by the Kings away from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019 before his firing last November. Alvin Gentry took over on an interim basis before the Kings finished 30-52.

Sacramento’s .366 winning percentage was its worst since the 2017-18 season.

Brown is determined to build a consistent winner in the state capital.

“One of the main reasons that I was brought here was to bring some leadership in a lot of different areas,” he said. “I’ve been with a lot of different teams in my 30 years. I’ve experienced something that I believe can get organizations over the top, not just in one year but year in and year out, and that’s having a winning culture. My job is to lead in that area. Every organization out there, in my opinion, has a soul. The stronger that soul is the better that organization will be.”

Brown previously had two stints as head coach in Cleveland, where he guided the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2007, and also coached the Los Angeles Lakers.

Since moving to Sacramento in 1985, the Kings have had only one stretch of success, making the playoffs in all eight seasons under coach Rick Adelman from 1999-2006. Adelman was fired in 2006 and remains the only coach in the Sacramento era to post a winning record in any season.

“We conducted in the front office here a very robust, thorough, comprehensive process,” Kings general manager Monte McNair said. “We wanted to ensure that we found the right coach. We did a lot of research and it came down to three key things for us: experience, successful head coaching experience, relationships, the ability to build relationships across the organization, and leadership — leadership as a head coach and leadership for everything that we’re trying to do here.”

On several occasions, Brown stepped in for Warriors coach Steve Kerr, most recently when Kerr dealt with COVID-19 and missed three playoff games.

Now, it’s time for a new chapter that he hopes will produce a regular contender much like where he has been.

And when someone congratulated Brown on the Warriors’ title, Brown showed off his signature warm smile and cracked: “Can you say that again?”

“I’ve got four,” he added, holding up four fingers and chuckling.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan believes quarterback Trey Lance can overcome heightened expectations ahead of his second year in the league.

“The biggest thing with Trey that people have to realize is he is younger,” Shanahan said during a State of the Franchise event. “He has more horsepower inside of him than I think he even knows of. Just from the whole talent, but also what he’s made of, how intelligent he is. I think he’s going to be able to overcome adversity.”

The Niners invested heavily in Lance’s future, trading three draft picks to select third overall in 2021.

The North Dakota State product had an unremarkable start to his career in his debut campaign, going 1-1 as the starter. Lance threw for 603 yards, five touchdowns, and seven interceptions with a 57.7% completion percentage last season.

San Francisco stuck with Jimmy Garoppolo as its primary passer last year, and the veteran led the Niners to the NFC Championship Game. With Garoppolo currently rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery and awaiting a potential trade, Lance is expected to take a huge step in 2022.

Shanahan recognizes that having a great supporting cast, including George KittleDeebo Samuel, and Elijah Mitchell, will help in Lance’s progression from a rookie to a second-year veteran.

The Niners bench boss believes that the real test for his young signal-caller will be how both he and the team respond to adversity during the season.

“We’re going to put them through the wringer during the season, then you find if they can do it for the long haul,” he said, according to Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn.

The Edmonton Oilers are on the verge of signing head coach Jay Woodcroft to a three-year deal, ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reports.

Woodcroft took over for Dave Tippett in February. The team did not give him an interim title but guaranteed he would be the head coach for the remainder of the campaign.

The 45-year-old did a superb job, guiding Edmonton to a 26-9-3 record down the stretch before leading the club to the conference finals.

Woodcroft has been with the Oilers organization since 2015-16, starting as an assistant coach for three years before heading the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors for parts of four campaigns.

Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella admitted during his introductory press conference Friday that his team has a long way to go after a tough 2021-22 season.

“I’m not going to sit here and say we’re going to be Stanley Cup contenders next year. I get that,” he said. “I know there’s some work to do. … That’s what I want to do, that’s what coaches do. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

He continued: “I’m not afraid of what people are saying about the team. I get it’s out there. It fuels me. … I’m looking forward to getting to the bunker in that locker room with all the Flyers and (going) about our business.”

Despite winning six of their first 10 games, the Flyers finished last in the Metropolitan Division with a 25-46-11 record under Alain Vigneault and interim bench boss Mike Yeo. Philadelphia missed the playoffs for the third time in the past four years.

Tortorella believes his first order of business is to improve the team’s play around the puck to make life easier for young netminder Carter Hart.

“I think we need to give Carter a little more support as far as how we play around him, allow him to really get himself into the National Hockey League. … This is how you go about it,” Tortorella said.

The Flyers ranked in the bottom third of the league in shot attempts for (46.6%), expected goals for (46.5%), and scoring chances for (44.9%), per Natural Stat Trick. They also gave up the seventh-most high-danger chances at five-on-five this season.

Tortorella added that, though he isn’t a fan of the term, Philadelphia’s “culture” needs to change.

“Bottom line is, I want the team to be hard,” he said. “I think we need to present ourselves, look harder coming off the bus, coming into buildings. I want other teams to say, ‘You know what? We’ve got our hands full tonight.'”

A two-time Jack Adams Award winner, Tortorella spent the 2021-22 season as a studio analyst for ESPN.

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury would like nothing more than to have a new deal in place for his quarterback Kyler Murray.

“I’m praying before training camp,” Kingsbury said Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss.

Kingsbury added, “Personally, I’m being selfish here, I would love for him to be there the first day of training camp.”

Murray, who turns 25 in August, rejoined the team’s voluntary OTA sessions after letting the Cardinals know that he would like a new deal in line with those of the league’s top-tier passers.

The 2019 No. 1 pick was in attendance Tuesday for the first day of the team’s mandatory minicamp.

It’s been reported that Murray won’t show up for training camp without a new agreement.

He’s expected to earn $5.5 million next season and $29.7 million in the final year of his rookie contract in 2023.

Kingsbury said he expects Murray’s new deal to set a Cardinals record and emphasized the passer’s value to the club by calling him the “leader of this franchise.”

Arizona general manager Steve Keim previously said the organization would like to work out an extension by this summer.

Murray led the Cardinals to a 9-5 record as a starter last season, throwing 24 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and adding 423 rushing yards for five scores.

Although Murray was on the field Tuesday, center Rodney Hudson missed the practice with an unexcused absence.

“We’re working through something with him,” Kingsbury said. “As soon as we know, we’ll have that update.”

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins has agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Monday, courtesy of NBA.com’s Mark Medina.

“Taylor has done an outstanding job leading our team, and this extension is well-deserved,” Grizzlies executive vice president and GM Zach Kleiman said in a statement. “The year-over-year progress under Taylor speaks for itself, but his growth-oriented, selfless, and competitive approach has been a driving force in the establishment of a sustainable culture.

“We have full confidence that Taylor will steer us to Memphis’ first championship.”

Jenkins finished second in Coach of the Year voting and led the Grizzlies to the second-best record in the Association during the regular season at 56-26. Memphis led the league in several statistical categories under Jenkins, including rebounds (49.2 per game), steals (9.8), blocks (6.5), second-chance points (18.7), and fast-break points (17.7). They became the first team in NBA history to lead the league in rebounding, steals, and blocks in a regular season.

Jenkins owns a career regular-season record of 128-99 (.564 winning percentage). Before his time in Memphis, Jenkins was an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks for five seasons and an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2018-19 campaign.