Barrie executive to direct Rock

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:10 AM ET

The man who built Barrie into a lacrosse hotbed will try to lead the Toronto Rock back to National Lacrosse League supremacy.

The Rock announced yesterday that Mike Kloepfer, currently president/general manager of the Barrie Lakeshores of Major Series Lacrosse and president of the highly successful Barrie Tornado Jr. B lacrosse club, has been hired as the director of lacrosse operations.

"My main purpose is to rejuvenate the team, not rebuild it," Kloepfer said of the Rock, which had franchise-worst 8-8 season and a demoralizing 16-8 playoff loss at the hands of the Rochester Knighthawks.

The 44-year-old Kloepfer said he jumped at the chance to join the Rock.

"They are the premier NLL organization both on and off the floor," Kloepfer, a native of Jackson's Point, Ont., said.

Kloepfer, a native of Jackson's Point, Ont., succeeds Terry Sanderson, who was fired as general manager/ coach earlier this month.

Kloepfer will have the final say in all personnel decisions.

The team has done away with the traditional general manager position.

"From our standpoint, we think Mike has a vast experience in the game of lacrosse," Rock president Brad Watters said. "He has done a great job (with the) Barrie Lakeshores team. He understands all levels of the game, has been very thorough on player development and has a good eye for talent."

The Rock also hired Matt Sawyer and Greg Van Sickle as assistant coaches.

Sawyer will continue to run the offence, a position he has held since 2004. Van Sickle will man the defensive gate and assist Clark with coaching the Rock's defence.


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