Rock chief steps down

RYAN WOLSTAT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

The Toronto Rock will have a new face at the helm as it attempts to claw its way back to respectability.

Yesterday, the National Lacrosse League team accepted the resignation of its director of lacrosse operations, Mike Kloepfer.

Kloepfer was hired in May of 2006 after the Rock slid to an 8-8 finish and a first-round playoff loss a year after winning its fifth championship.

But under Kloepfer, the Rock went just 19-29 and missed the playoffs two out of three seasons.

SUBSTANTIAL SAY

The club had a record of 81-37 prior to Kloepfer's arrival, but several top players were traded during his tenure, although team president Brad Watters, former coach Glenn Clark and longtime captain Jim Veltman had a substantial say in most of the moves.

"It was a challenging three years and I wish the organization all the best in the future," Kloepfer said in a release.

Given Watters' history of having a quick trigger finger, many expected the two sides to part ways much earlier.

Kloepfer replaced coach/general manager Terry Sanderson, who was fired, despite leading the Rock to a 28-14 record and a championship. Ed Comeau (interim coach) and Derek Keenan (interim GM), assistants during the Rock's dynasty era under Les Bartley, were given just six games (2-4) to run the show in place of the ailing Bartley, before Sanderson took over.

The Rock never recovered from the late 2006 trade of superstar Colin Doyle and slumped terribly after the 2008 swap of Josh Sanderson for Lewis Ratcliff. Doyle allegedly took issue with Terry Sanderson's removal.

The Rock later shipped out the centrepiece of the Doyle trade, former rookie of the year Ryan Benesch, along with one of its best defenders, Derek Suddons, a contract holdout, to Edmonton for little in return.

The team said it will hire a new GM when the NLL season ends next month.

It is unclear, meanwhile, what the future holds for current head coach Jamie Batley, who has previous GM experience and has said he would like to take over the team.


Videos

Photos