Saint Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm today finalized its coaching staff and scouting department for the 2012 season.
Minnesota will return coach Mike Lines along with assistant coaches Joe Sullivan and Aime Caines to the sidelines next season as well as welcome Bob Keast as an assistant coach. In the scouting department, Minnesota has named Jake Elliott the Director of Western Scouting.
In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Sullivan has also been named the team’s Associate General Manager.
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Joe Sullivan as our Associate General Manager,” Owner and President John Arlotta said. “Joe brings a wealth of lacrosse knowledge to this position as well as a keen understanding of how great organizations should function from his experience at PepsiCo. Pepsi is well known for its people development programs, and it's professional approach to organizational excellence. I know Joe is as excited as I am to see how he can apply this know how to raising the level of professionalism in our lacrosse operations."
Arlotta added, “I’m also happy to have our coaching staff intact for a third straight season and excited to welcome Bob Keast to the staff. I have always believed that having a consistent message in any organization is critical to success, and Mike and his staff are going into their third year with the same philosophy and message. Although I have only known Bob for a short period of time, I know he will be a great fit with this staff and philosophy, and watching him coach in Peterborough this summer it was clear that he has a talent for getting people to work together to achieve team goals."
Lines, 40, has posted a 13-19 (.402%) regular season record, while leading the Swarm to two playoff appearances in two seasons as coach. This past season, Lines directed the Swarm to a second place finish in the West with an 8-8 record. Minnesota went on to host its second home playoff game in franchise history in 2011, but fell to Washington 14-8. In his first season as coach in 2010, Lines led the Swarm to its fourth postseason appearance after finishing the regular season 5-11. Lines previously served as an assistant coach with Minnesota from 2008-09.
Sullivan, 42, enters his third season as an assistant coach with the Swarm in 2012. The native of Peterborough, Ontario and has been coaching lacrosse for over 20 years and coaches with the MSL’s Peterborough Lakers in the summer. Sullivan has helped the Lakers win three Mann Cups in the last five years. Prior to joining the Swarm, Sullivan was an assistant coach with Toronto (2009) and Chicago (2008).
Caines, 35, will return for his third season as an assistant coach with the Swarm next season. He also serves as the Director of the Swarm's Youth Box League. Before coaching, Caines spent five seasons in the NLL from 2001-05 with Columbus, Montreal, and Buffalo. He tallied 110 points (52g, 58a) and 206 loose balls in his career as a forward. Caines is also an assistant coach for the University of Minnesota’s Men’s Club Lacrosse team and is the head coach at East Ridge H.S. (Woodbury, Minn.).
Keast, 42, has spent the past 10 years as an assistant coach with the MSL’s Peterborough Lakers and has won four Mann Cups. Keast also spent time in the NLL as an assistant coach with Toronto (2009), Chicago (2007-08) and Ottawa (2001-02). As a player, the Peterborough, Ontario native won three Minto Cups at the junior level.
Elliott, 38, is one of lacrosse’s most established play-by-by personalities with eight years of experience calling games in Western Canada. Elliott is currently the play-by-by voice for both the Langley Thunder Senior “A” and Junior “A” lacrosse teams and has announced several Mann and Minto Cup’s. Elliott also has seven years of coaching experience with numerous junior lacrosse teams in Western Canada, which includes the Junior “A” New Westminster Salmonbellies. As head coach in 2003, he led the Intermediate Coquitlam Adanacs to a Gold place finish at the 2003 Provincial Championships. Elliott previously worked with the Swarm in 2010-11 as the team’s play-by-play voice for its Channel 45 broadcasts.
“I have listened to Jake as a broadcaster over the last three years, and I was impressed with his knowledge and passion for the game,” Arlotta said. “He broadcasts many games in the summer at all levels of lacrosse, and that gives him a unique insight into the talent in Western Canada. In addition, he's fun to listen to in his broadcasts and when we are able to increase our television package of Swarm games, he will be a great asset in communicating box lacrosse to fans throughout Minnesota."
Elliott will focus his attention on scouting Western Canadian players, while Sullivan will scout Eastern Canadian players.
“We have put together a scouting system in both Eastern and Western Canada with the goal to uncover some quality free agents that may not have gotten their opportunity yet in the NLL, as well as prepare ourselves for upcoming drafts where we have accumulated a large number of high picks in the next three years,” Arlotta added. "I am excited about the staff we now have in place to find, develop, and coach our players."