Riggers coach steps down

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

Forced to choose between two families, the decision was obvious but still difficult for Troy Cordingley.

There is his lacrosse family with the Calgary Roughnecks.

And there is his wife and four kids at home in Oakville, Ont.

So the National Lacrosse League's 2009 head coach of the year has stepped down after two hectic seasons with the Riggers, which was capped by winning the Champion's Cup last month.

"It was tough, but my family has to come first," Cordingley said. "My wife and kids have always put my goals and aspirations first. They allowed me to travel 4,000 kilometres every weekend.

"So now, it's payback time."

Cordingley leaves the Riggers with a 19-13 regular-season record.

After an injury-plagued 2008 campaign, things came together this season when the Roughnecks were the class of the NLL, going 12-4 and winning the three straight home playoff games for the title.

Cordingley is an elementary school teacher in Port Credit, Ont., and he also coaches the Brampton Excelsior of the summer Senior A league.

With all that going on, Cordingley still managed to hop on a plane and spend winter weekends in Calgary. He also managed to fit several hours of game preparation in every week.

"A lot of people don't realize the commitment it takes," said Riggers president, owner and GM Brad Banister.

"They give up a lot to do this, and Troy realized he has to take care of his family. I think he's making the right decision. We will go on without him."

The most ideal candidate to take over is assistant coach Terry Sanderson, who is a former bench boss in the NLL with the Toronto Rock and the Montreal Express.

Both Cordingley and Banister said Sanderson would be a good choice to take over, being he directed the No. 1 defence in the NLL last season.

"Terry would be a great coach because he's done it before, many times," Banister said. "But both of our assistants -- Dave Pym being the other one -- could take over, as well. We could go with co-coaches, but we haven't made that decision quite yet."

Cordingley's departure may be the most significant from the championship team.

Most of the players are set to return, except for 39-year-old Curt Malawsky, who may retire. Malawsky would be a good fit for the coaching staff, and he has experience coaching the Burnaby Lakers Junior A club.

It may not take long for Cordingley to land an NLL job closer to home. Both the Rock and the Buffalo Bandits are rumoured to be interested in his services.

Cordingley said he would be open to offers that allowed him to spend more time with his four kids, who are all under the age of nine.

Daughter Aurora, 9, son Bryce, 7, and twins Cade and Dacia, 3, are all involved in their own lacrosse pursuits, and Dad wants to be at more of their games.

Being away from them during weekends from late November until mid-May is just too tough to continue.

"Bryce is only seven, but he's making a decision not to play hockey because it's tough to get him to practice and games," Cordingley said.

"He knows Dad is out of town every weekend. That's what bothers me most -- not making my daughter's dance recitals or having the twins not know where I am every weekend."


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