Riggers shop local

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

Alberta's first pro lacrosse outfit is making history again.

The Calgary Roughnecks announced yesterday Sherwood Park's Dave Pym has been promoted to head coach, becoming the first Alberta-bred bench boss in the NLL.

"That is an honour and a privilege that I don't take lightly," said Pym, who joined the Riggers four years ago as a scout and has been the assistant coach in charge of the offence for the past two campaigns.

"I think there's a lot of qualified individuals in this province that are fully capable of performing within the National Lacrosse League in a variety of positions, and I think there will be a time when more opportunity for those folks will present itself."

Pym also serves as the coaching director for the Alberta Lacrosse Association and is bench boss for the Edmonton Jr. A Eclipse.

The Riggers have been searching for a new bench boss since Troy Cordingley, the reigning NLL Coach of the Year, resigned his post last month to spend more time with his family in Ontario. The job was offered to assistant Terry Sanderson, but he quit to join the Toronto Rock front office as general manager.

Pym, 43, will be joined behind the Roughnecks' bench by Curt Malawsky, who's hanging up his pads after a dozen pro campaigns to become an assistant coach and assistant GM.

Malawsky, 39, retires after racking up 260 goals and 277 assists in 159 regular-season outings during his NLL career. Nicknamed Mouse, the veteran forward crossed a key item off his lacrosse to-do list in May, finally winning a ring on his fourth trip to the Champion's Cup final.

"That was what I was sticking it out for," Malawsky said. "The last three or four years, that's what I was aspiring to do was win that championship and we won it. My teammates can attest my body is pretty beat up."

There had been some rumblings Malawsky was tabbed to become Calgary's head coach, but the Maple Ridge, B.C., resident seems more comfortable starting out as an assistant.

Plus, he figures Pym is a perfect fit.

"Dave did so much for our championship team last year," Malawsky said. "A lot of people around the lacrosse community didn't give him enough credit, but I think the people behind the Calgary door and in the Calgary organization know exactly what Dave Pym brought to the table."

Roughnecks sniper and Calgary product Kaleb Toth was happy with the news of Pym's promotion.

"It's a well-deserved honour for Dave to be named the head coach, and now, other coaches throughout Alberta can strive to head coach in the NLL one day."


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