New Bellies' bench boss
When he left the Langley Events Centre following Monday’s Western Lacrosse Association draft, Dan Richardson’s job wasn’t done.
The next morning, the New Westminster Salmonbellies president went about telling his team about not only the big changes with the influx of new players on the bench but also the ones behind the bench.
He told them head coach Ken Thomas was stepping down for personal reasons and assistants Chris Gill and Sheldon Palidwor were being let go. In their place will be former assistant Steve Goodwin and the rest of his intermediate Salmonbellies staff, former Burnaby Lakers head coach Russ Heard, former New West minor lacrosse president Jamie Stewart and Darrin London.
The four friends who grew up playing together led the intermediate team to the 2012 provincial title.
Richardson said with Thomas having lots going on in his life, the executive took the opportunity to take a look at the team which missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years in 2012 and decided a wholesale change was in order.
“Ken opened the door for taking it in a new direction,” said Richardson, who found it difficult telling Gill and Palidwor about the decision on Tuesday.
“That was a tough conversation I had this morning. They’re all great guys, and great lacrosse guys, but you don’t make the playoffs and things have to change. We all have to take a piece of that, myself included,” said Richardson, who added Thomas will remain with the team in a undetermined capacity.