The Buffalo Bandits have announced that Darris Kilgour will not return as coach of the team for the 2014 season.
Kilgour had been coach of the team since 2003, when he took over for Frank Nielsen. During that time, he had not missed the playoffs until 2013, when the Bandits finished last in the National Lacrosse League's East Division with a 6-10 record. He departs with a career coaching record of 103-73, and is the NLL's all-time leader in coaching wins with 121.
"It’s never easy making this type of decision," said Scott Loffler, Bandits director of lacrosse operations. "However, we felt that a change at head coach is needed at this time to turn things around. What makes this decision especially difficult is that we are parting ways with Darris Kilgour, who has been an integral part of the success and history of the Buffalo Bandits. Words cannot express our gratitude for what Darris has done for this organization and there is no doubt he will have success in lacrosse circles in the future. We wish him the best of luck."
“It was an incredibly tough decision,” said Bandits General Manager Steve Dietrich. “Because when I think of the Buffalo Bandits I think of Darris Kilgour and John Tavares. I had the pleasure of playing with, for, and against Darris and I love his utter belief in the Bandits organization. We believe we need a new voice and a new vision behind the bench to lead the new generation of Bandits as we continue to strive to bring the Champion’s Cup back where it belongs.”
The team said in a news release that the search for a successor will begin immediately. The name of former Troy Cordingley certainly will come up in any discussion about the position. Cordingley, who lost his job with the Rock earlier in the offseason, is a former player and assistant coach of the Bandits.
--- Budd Bailey