Tallevi Named New Assistant Coach with Rush
Saskatoon, SK - For the first time in a long time, there will be a new face behind the Saskatchewan Rush bench.
But it is a somewhat familiar face.
Rush GM/head coach Derek Keenan has brought aboard Jeremy Tallevi as the team's new assistant coach with his primary duties being the defensive unit. He replaces one of club's most-familiar faces in Jimmy Quinlan, who resigned during the off-season to focus on his family.
Tallevi previously served under Keenan for the 2010 and 2011 seasons in Edmonton, and is eager to get to work in Rush Nation.
"It is a great opportunity to work with Derek again as well as Jeff McComb," said Tallevi. "To come to a team that has just won a championship and has won three of the last four is certainly a dream come true.
"This is an incredible situation for me to come to the best team in the league. I learned so much from Derek before not just about lacrosse but how to treat people and how to work with people. I know the expectations are high and there will be no room for complacency."
The only remaining player from Tallevi's first stint with the club is veteran defenceman Brett Mydske, but Tallevi is very familiar with the stellar defensive crew he is inheriting. Widely considered to be one of, if not, the best defensive groups in NLL history, the Rush's backline is anchored by four-time Defensive Player of the Year Kyle Rubisch, team captain and perennial All-Pro Chris Corbeil, long-time pillar Mydske, and blossoming young talents Mike Messenger and Matt Hossack.
"It is an unbelievably athletic group and individually spectacular defencemen," noted Tallevi. "They have bought into the system and work it masterfully. And if anything does get by them, there is a great goaltender there in Evan Kirk to bail them out."
It is also a group, though, that will undergo some change when the 2019 season gets under way.
Ryan Dilks, the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, will sit out the season due to joining the firefighter academy in Edmonton, and Jeff Cornwall may yet be absent for the year as well. There are some strong candidates to fill the positions including returnees Matt MacGrotty and Nick Finlay along with newcomer Jordi Jones-Smith and 2018 draft pick Ryan McLean.
"Derek has watched those players and he knows what both Matt and Nick can do," said Tallevi. "They're both athletic and excellent defenders who are going to do a good job when they get the opportunity to step in.
"There are some great draft picks and Jordi had a great summer. He's ready to make a difference. He's a bit of a late bloomer, but he's stuck at it and gotten better and better."
In other coaching roles, Tallevi has guided the University of Western Ontario Mustangs for 19 seasons highlighted by four Canadian collegiate titles including three in a row from 2016 to 2018. In the Ontario junior 'A' ranks, Tallevi coached with Burlington, Brampton, and Kitchener-Waterloo, and led the Wallaceburg Red Devils (Ontario) to the 2001 Founder's Cup national junior 'B' championship. He was also the general manager and head coach of the CLAX's Southwest Cyclops. Tallevi lives in London, Ont.
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