Calgary Roughnecks bench boss Curt Malawsky named NLL coach of 2022-23

‘Dedicated’ director wins Les Bartley Award after leading club to franchise-high 13 wins and on to West Conference final

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Curt Malawsky isn’t big on his own individual successes.

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It’s the big prize he’s always wanting — and that fell from his Calgary Roughnecks’ clutches last Saturday when they were eliminated from the National Lacrosse League playoffs.

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But without his award-winning direction, the Roughnecks wouldn’t have been in contention for the NLL Cup this season.

So the league’s salute of Malawsky on Wednesday — when he was announced as the 2022-23 Les Bartley Award winner as coach of the year — is more than well deserved.

“That’s nice, and when it’s all over, I’ll probably reflect on stuff like that,” said Malawsky, when talking earlier of a career achievement. “But for me, it’s about trying to be successful at the end of the season in your last game.”

Others, however, are quick to point out that the NLL honour matters.

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“Curt is a dedicated and passionate coach with a drive to succeed and a very deserving winner of coach of the year,” said Roughnecks general manager Mike Board. “He is very detailed-oriented in his planning, his commitment to the job and to the team’s success.

“On behalf of the Calgary Roughnecks, we congratulate Curt on this achievement.”

In his 10th season with the team as bench boss, Malawsky led the Roughnecks to a franchise-record 13 wins in the regular season. In the final game of the regular season, he reached his 90th career victory as head coach, becoming just the eighth in NLL history to do so.

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In the 2022-23 post-season, the B.C. native and former Roughnecks player became the third most successful bench boss in NLL playoff action history with 15 wins and coached the team to the West Conference final. The Riggers were ousted from the West final last Saturday by the Colorado Mammoth, falling 9-7 in the deciding third game of the best-of-three series.

This is the first Les Bartley Award for Malawsky, who becomes the first Roughnecks head coach to win the award since Troy Cordingley in 2009.

The Rochester Knighthawks’ Dan Carey was also celebrated by the league Wednesday, as he was given — also for the first time in his career — the NLL’s General Manager of the Year Award. The Knighthawks rebounded from last year’s 4-14 record to finish 10-8 and become playoff-bound in 2022-23.

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