The Iroquois Nationals have announced their general manager and coaching staff for the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship. Landon Miller will oversee the Iroquois team as its general manager, while Rich Kilgour will serve as the head coach. Assistant coaches will include Duane Jacobs, Darris Kilgour and Andy Secore.
Miller has a history of building winning programs, especially at the professional level. As the assistant general manager of the Rochester Knighthawks, he is one of the franchise’s architects in building the current three-time National Lacrosse League Champions. Miller has enjoyed similar success in his role as the president of the Six Nations Arrows. During his six-year tenure, the Arrows have won a Minto Cup (2014) and have advanced to the Ontario Finals four times.
“It’s a great honor to represent the Iroquois Nationals program in this historic event, especially being hosted in our traditional territories. The program has seen growth and success at the world stage,” said Miller in a news release. “We now want to take that last step and win Gold. That is the only objective. “To do that, I am entrusted to put the best staff and team together to accomplish our goal. We will create a team first philosophy from the top down, a culture that is based on a work ethic over talent. We will put the best team together and not the best individuals. I look forward to the challenge.”
The Iroquois Nationals will host the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships for the first time in the tournament’s history. The event will take place on Haudenosaunee Territories at Tsha’Hon’nonyen’dakhwa’ Onondaga Nation Arena near Syracuse, and at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo in September of 2015.
“I am proud to present the 2015 WILC Iroquois Nationals indoor lacrosse team with the best coaching staff in Haudenosaunee land,” said Executive Director Denise Waterman. “The coaching staff exhibits experience, discipline and cultural values that are important for the Haudenosaunee.”
Rich Kilgour, who played for the Iroquois Nationals in 2003, will take the head coaching reigns for the 2015 championship. Kilgour has spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits. He moved into that role following a Hall of Fame playing career, which he spent entirely with Buffalo. In his 18 seasons (1992-2009), he served as captain for 12 and won four championships. Kilgour has continued to win championships, capturing back-to-back Mann Cup championships as the head coach of the Six Nations Chiefs. Now he will turn his attention to taking on the best teams and players in the world.
“It is an unbelievable honor being picked to coach your nation’s team at the highest level. It’s indescribable,” he said. “As soon as I heard where the Worlds were going to be played, I definitely wanted to be a part of it. To have lacrosse coming on a world stage and be held on Onondaga Territory and in Buffalo, with so many Haudenosaunee Nation communities around this area, it makes it even more special. I am just really thankful to the board and Landon.”
Jacobs returns to join the Iroquois bench after leading the Nationals to silver medals in 2007and 2011 as the program’s head coach. He also played in the 2003 event and won silver with the Nationals. During his 11-year playing career, Jacobs was a four-time NLL All-Pro and won the 1997 NLL title with the Rochester Knighthawks. Since retiring in 2003, he established himself among the elite coaches in the game, having won back-to-back Mann Cups with the Six Nations Chiefs (2013-14). “Dewey” also coached three seasons in the NLL and compiled a .521 winning percentage.
“It feels good. It’s a different role this time around, but I’m happy to have another opportunity to go to a World Championship and try to help the Nationals achieve that gold medal,” Jacobs said. “Our program has come a long way, and I think it’s only getting stronger. When you look at the development of the players coming out of the Iroquois nations, the talent is just unbelievable right now.”
Darris Kilgour will return to the Nationals’ bench where he served as an assistant coach in 2011. Kilgour brings an impressive resume to the assistant coaching position. The former Les Bartley Award winner, which is given to the NLL Coach of the Year, stands as the all-time winningest coach in league history with 121 victories. He amassed most of those wins during an 11-year tenure with the Buffalo Bandits, where he earned a record of 103-73. He took Buffalo to three NLL Finals appearances and a Champion’s Cup title in 2008. As a player, he won three championships with the Bandits and was inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame in 2007.
“It feels great to be part of representing your nation. I have been with the Haudenosaunee the past couple of years. We have a strong team who can compete for the championship,” he said. “I just feel real proud and happy to be part of the coaching staff.”
Secore will make his first appearance at the Worlds as an assistant coach. The former NLL forward played in the 2011 FIL World Lacrosse Championships and helped the Iroquois Nataionals win a silver medal. Currently an assistant coach with the Knighthawks, he has won three straight NLL championships (2012-14). This summer, he also helped the Six Nations Arrows win the prestigious Minto Cup as the Junior “A” champions.
“It’s obviously an honor. Any time you can be a part of the World Championships is a special moment,” Secure said. “I am excited and looking forward to the task ahead. Hopefully, we can get a championship here.”
For information on the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, go online to WILC2015.com.