Rochester Knighthawks Name Paul Suggate Head Coach
(Rochester, NY)... The Rochester Knighthawks named Paul Suggate the fourth head coach in franchise history today at a press conference at The Blue Cross Arena. Rochester also announced that former defenseman Mike Hasen and Freeman Bucktooth will join the staff as assistant coaches.
"It is an honor to be surrounded by guys like Regy (Thorpe), Jody (Gage) and Curt (Styres)," said Suggate. "They are high-caliber guys that are doing what they can to win a championship.
"My focus is simple: I want to be the best that I can and help the guys be the best that they can be," added Suggate. "Each night we have to earn the right to be the best."
Suggate is a lacrosse icon in Canada and brings an impressive resume to Rochester, a city that won the 2007 National Lacrosse League Champion's Cup. Suggate is a member of both the Canadian and Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fames and has excelled as both a coach and a player.
His exploits on the floor are legendary and is regarded as the "best two-way players to ever have played the game." In the mid-70s he played for the Maryland Arrows of the old National Lacrosse League. In 40 games with the Arrows in 1974, he scored 115 goals and added 124 assists to win the league scoring title with 239 points. He was also named to the NLL First All-Star Team as a defender. The following season, he was second in the league in points with 219 (92+127) and earned Second Team honors. At the Ontario Lacrosse League level, Suggate captured a Minto Cup while playing for the Toronto Lakeshores (1970) and then a year later won his only Mann Cup with the Brantford Warriors (1971).
Away from the floor, Suggate has coached at the international and at the Canadian junior and senior levels. He worked as the head coach of the now defunct St. Catharines Athletics in 2005 and 2006. In 2007, he coached Team Scotland at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship. This past summer, he coached the Junior "A" Mississauga Tomahawks in the Ontario Lacrosse Association. He has been named the Coach of the Year at both the junior and senior levels, earning the honors in 1996 with Mississauga (Junior "A") and in 2005 with St. Catharines (Senior "A").
Freeman "Boss" Bucktooth begins his first season with the Knighthawks as the team's Head Offensive Assistant Coach. He returns to the coaching ranks in the NLL after a nearly 10-year hiatus, having last worked in the league in 1999 as the head coach of the Syracuse Smash. The resident of Onondaga Nation has an extensive background as a player and as a coach.
"It's a dream come true," said Bucktooth. "I look forward to working with Paul and Mike and winning a championship."
As a coach, he has worked at the international and Canadian junior and senior levels. In his career, he has been the head coach of the Onondaga Junior B's, Syracuse Lacrosse Club (Vail Colorado) and LaFayette High School (1999-00), where he was named Coach of the Year. On the world scene, he led the Iroquois Nationals to their first medal at the 1999 Under-19 World Games in Adelaide, Australia, and earned World Games Man of the Year honors for his work with the Iroquois Nationals.
This summer he coached the Senior "B" Onondaga Redhawks and guided the team to a 14-4 record and a berth in the Can-Am Finals. He also was an assistant coach on the Onondaga 1993 championship team.
Bucktooth also enjoyed a remarkable playing career, which spanned nearly 20 years. "Boss" began playing for the Onondaga Senior team at the age of just 16 and retired at age 33. During that time, he was able to lead the team as its captain and as its leading scorer for 10 seasons on the way to numerous league championships. Bucktooth was also selected to play on the Nations' 1980 team (an all-star Iroquois team) as well as playing for the North Shore Indians. Further, he was selected to play on the USA All-Star team, which played in the President's Cup in 1992.
"Boss" played his high school lacrosse at nearby LaFayette High School and was an All-Upstate and All-County selection for two straight seasons. Upon graduation, he went on to play his college lacrosse at Syracuse University from 1974 to 1975. Freeman is the father of Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Rattlers star Brett Bucktooth, and Knighthawks forward Drew Bucktooth. His other sons Tyler and Grant also played lacrosse in the Ontario Lacrosse Association.
Hasen joins Suggate and Bucktooth behind the Knighthawks' bench as the team's head defensive assistant coach. Hasen begins his first professional coaching job after playing in the NLL for 13 seasons, nine of those with the Knighthawks.
"This is a great opportunity and with the support from Paul and Freeman, I look forward to making the transition from player to coach, in the organization that meant so much to me as a player," he said.
Hasen played in Rochester from 1999 to 2007, ending his career after the team won the '07 Champion's Cup. He ranks fifth in games played (114), loose balls (575) and penalty minutes (188). He served as the team captain for the 2002-03, 2003-04, 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons.
Prior to coming to Rochester, he spent four seasons with the Buffalo Bandits. He tallied 45 points (10+35) in four seasons with Buffalo and was honored as the Bandits' top defensive player in 1997. He was also a member of the 1996 championship team. In his career, he played in 150 games and recorded 23 goals, 82 assists and 704 loose balls.
This summer, Hasen was the defensive coach for the Ontario Lacrosse Association Senior "A" Brampton Excelsiors, as the team advanced to the OLA Finals. Hasen also played for the Excelsiors and was a member of the 2003 and 2004 OLA champions. The Toronto native also captained Mann Cup championship teams in 1998 and 2002. Further, he won the Merv McKenzie Award as the league's Most Valuable Defensive Player in 2000, which was the third in four years he received the honor. In addition, Hasen was a member of four Ontario University Field Lacrosse Association championship teams at Brock University.
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