When the Bandits fired Darris Kilgour last month, the conventional wisdom was that the likely successor to replace him was Troy Cordingley.
That turned out to be the case. Cordingly has been hired as the team's seventh head coach.
The connections between Cordingley and the Bandits are lengthy. Start with the fact that he began his career in pro lacrosse as a player for the Bandits, spending seven seasons with the team (1993-1999). Cordingley was part of two championship teams in Buffalo (1993 and 1996). He finished his career with the Albany Attack. Cordingley was an assistant coach of the Bandits from 2003 to 2007.
Cordingley became the head coach in Calgary in 2008, and won a championship there in 2009. For the last four seasons, he has been coach of the Toronto Rock. There he also won a championship (2011). Cordingley is a two-time winner of the Les Bartley Award as the NLL coach of the year, with one of the wins coming this past season. His departure from Toronto was considered a major surprise. The Rock went 10-6 in 2013.
Bandits general manager Steve Dietrich served as an assistant coach under Cordingley in Toronto. One NLL insider had predicted this week that Cordingley would get the job, due to the close relationship between the two men.
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to become the next head coach of the Buffalo Bandits,” Cordingley said. “As both a former player and assistant coach with the organization, I have orange and black blood running through my veins. Helping this team get back to where it belongs is something that excites me, and I look forward to that challenge. Plain and simple, I’m coming here to win.”
Two of the other finalists for the job were said to be Bandits assistant coach Rich Kilgore and Colorado Mammoth assistant coach Ed Comeau. Dan Teat, another Bandits assistant, also had expressed interest in the position.
“It was a very tough decision as every candidate we interviewed came highly qualified with lots of experience,” said Bandits General Manager Steve Dietrich. “However, it came down to Troy’s track record of winning championships in the NLL and turning teams around in a quick manner.”
--- Budd Bailey