Roughnecks captain takes on Raiders coaching duties
Hockey: Andrew McBride named Okotoks head coach
By: Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Dec 04, 2013 06:00 am
One of the most recognizable figures in Canadian lacrosse will be leading the Okotoks Jr. A Raiders’ bid to repeat as provincial champions.
Calgary Roughnecks captain Andrew McBride was named the new Raiders head coach succeeding Dave Pym who has moved on to general manager duties. Roughnecks sniper Dane Dobbie comes on as assistant coach, joining returnee Jesse Fehr on the bench.
McBride is no stranger to Raiders lacrosse. He was an assistant coach during Okotoks’ Minto Cup appearance in 2011, under then bench boss Bruce Codd, and in 2013 with Pym leading the charges.
“He’s proven himself that he’s there for the kids,” said Raiders president David Fehr. “He’s a natural teacher and just has an ability to teach the fundamentals, the tactics and he legitimately cares about the well-being of the kids.
“Everything Andrew has done over the years has led me to believe he’s ready for that next step… He provides the leadership we want our kids to have.”
The 30-year-old McBride has spent his entire professional lacrosse career with the Roughnecks, guiding them to championship seasons in 2004 and 2009, and leads all Calgary players with 167 games over the past 11 seasons.
“We don’t lose, in fact we gain by having (Andrew) step up and Dave move over to the architectural role, while still being able to work with the kids on a regular basis,” Fehr said. “This is going to take some pressure off Dave to feel he absolutely needs to be here.”
Pym’s move from head coach to general manager/coach will ease the considerable travel burden on the resident of Sherwood Park who made the commute to Big Rock Country several times a week over the past two seasons.
“One of the driving forces behind us trying to find a succession plan was my putting 75,000 kms on my car a year between coaching the Junior A’s and my NLL responsibilities,” Pym said. “But I think it’s also incredibly important for our athletes to experience new voices and have the opportunity to be mentored by fellows who are playing the game at a very high level and are close to their age.”
Pym, who will remain as an assistant coach, said he is excited at the challenges and opportunities afforded at the general manager position.
“I love being able to create opportunities for the players that we have whether it’s with us or having them expand their horizons to get out there and see what other experiences are available in Canada or the U.S.,” Pym said. “Our goal is to keep as many players as we can and attract talent that is going to make us better.”
With the trio of NLL players on the bench, Pym said he feels strongly Okotoks boasts the top Jr. A coaching staff in the nation.
“I really believe we’ve put on our bench as much knowledge as any other team can put on their bench,” said Pym, who coached both McBride and Dobbie with the Roughnecks. “I fully believe in their capabilities and what they bring to the floor.
“They’re going to make our kids better and that’s the bottom line.”
Jesse Fehr, a defensive player for the Edmonton Rush, returns as an assistant behind the bench where he will focus on the Raiders’ transition/defence.
Dobbie, fourth in the NLL with 40 goals in 2013, is considered among the elite scorers in the game and should provide Okotoks an offensive acumen never before seen in Raider nation.
The veteran Roughneck was the offensive coach for the B.C. champion Coquitlam Adanacs last season.
“One of the things we’ve struggled with over the years is that real bag of tricks and set plays the kids can pull off seamlessly,” Fehr said. “His ability to teach that, who he is and what he’s accomplished in the game makes him a role model for our kids.
“All the kids that have any offensive flair whatsoever, he’s going to have their attention.”
For more information on the Okotoks Jr. Raiders log on to raiderslacrosse.ca