(Photo Courtesy of Buffalo Bandits)
After a 2019 season that saw John Tavares and Rich Kilgour share the head coaching duties in Buffalo, the Bandits have announced that Tavares will be the sole head coach for the 2020 season.
According to the release, the team decided to not renew Kilgour’s contract for the 2019-20 season. In addition, general manager Steve Dietrich will join the coaching staff and will oversee the defense. Rusty Krueger remains as the Bandits’ offensive coordinator and Anthony Cosmo will remain as the team’s goalie coach.
“Rich did a tremendous job for the Bandits organization during his tenure as coach, and we cannot thank him enough for that. He’s truly one of the greats and exemplifies everything this organization stands for. His number hangs in the rafters for a reason. However, after looking back on the season and thinking of areas where we could improve upon, it was evident that this team needed to have one singular voice behind the bench,” said Dietrich in an interview with Bandits.com
Tavares will now be the sole head coach behind the bench for the Bandits for the 2019-20 season. A legend in his own right, Tavares spent 23 years as a player for the Bandits before joining the team as an assistant coach in 2016.
“His voice will carry a lot of weight in the locker room and the players look up to him and respect what he says,” said Dietrich when asked about Tavares by Bandits.com
Last season, Tavares helped lead the Bandits to an NLL Finals appearance where they lost to the Calgary Roughnecks 2-0 in the best of three series. The Bandits kick off training camp this weekend in preparation for the 2019-20 season where they will compete in the newly formed North Division along with the Halifax Thunderbirds, the Rochester Knighthawks, and the Toronto Rock.