Victoria Shamrocks head coach Bob Heyes (centre) speaks to his players during practice at The Q Centre. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria Shamrocks head coach Bob Heyes (centre) speaks to his players during practice at The Q Centre. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria Shamrocks make coaching change ahead of 2021 season

Bob Heyes steps down after ‘unprecedented and very successful’ eight-year term

The Victoria Shamrocks announced Tuesday that they’re making a coaching change ahead of the 2021 season.

Head coach Bob Heyes will be moving on after what the team called an “unprecedented and very successful” eight years with the lacrosse club. He was offered another position within the organization, but “following consideration he has decided to decline in order to focus on other projects,” the team said in a press release.

“The Shamrocks are deeply appreciative of Bob’s contributions to the club and grateful to his family for allowing him and supporting him in his dedication to the club over the years, from his playing days through his coaching career,” said general manager Chris Welch.

Heyes first joined the Shamrocks — known then as the Victoria Payless — as a goaltender in 1989 and played with the club through 2000. He also won a Mann Cup as a player in 1997 and 1999. Heyes later joined the team as an assistant coach before being named head coach in 2012.

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Heyes had a record of 157-83-3 during his time as the Shamrocks’ bench boss. The club made the playoffs every year with Heyes at the helm, winning the Western Lacrosse Association playoff championship in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2019, and winning the Mann Cup in 2015.

“This was a difficult decision to make,” Welch said in the release. “It certainly isn’t one we took lightly. Nobody works harder or is better prepared than Bob Heyes. Whether he was given a team of seasoned veterans like in 2015 or a young, relatively inexperienced team like in 2019, he was able to find success. Nobody bleeds green like Bob, and he showed that every day with how hard he worked and how much he cared in his role as head coach.”

Welch added it’s time for a fresh voice behind the bench.

“Every coach will eventually run their course with a team; I feel we have reached that point.”

An announcement regarding a new head coach is expected in the coming weeks.


 

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