Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/8/12
From Press Releases and Staff Reports
Tom Slate, who is the lone Pennsylvania state champion as a player and coach in the Philly area and has coached at every major professional level, has been named coach of the Reading Rockets of the fledgling Professional Lacrosse League.
Slate, of Downingtown, has played for and coached with the Philadelphia Wings and also served as head coach of the Denver Outlaws and San Francisco Dragons and an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Barrage of Major League Lacrosse. He was a member of the state championship team at Springfield-Delco in 1992 and also coached Downingtown East to a state crown in 2007. No one else has been a coach and player for a PA state champ.
“We couldn’t be more excited than to have Tom Slate as our Head Coach,” said Rockets owner Ted Glynn. “Tom has won championships everywhere he’s been. As a player with the Philadelphia Wings to coaching with the Philadelphia Barrage, he’s been a proven winner.”
Slate is also owner of Lacrosse Evolution, which operates lacrosse training centers in Downingtown and King of Prussia.
Slate, a graduate of West Chester University, also played for the Baltimore Bayhawks of the NLL and represented the US at the Heritage Cup, a World Indoor Lacrosse competition.
Rockets Vice President and General manager Andy Makal added, “What more could you ask for in a head coach? He’s a winner, and more importantly, he’s an experienced teacher. His knowledge of the game and what it takes to win it all are keys to our success on the field, but his dedication to the game of lacrosse and the kids growing up and playing the game is invaluable to the mission of the Reading Rockets.”
“I’m proud to be a part of the Rockets organization and I’m looking forward to building a successful program here,” said Slate. “I’m grateful to Ted and Andy for the opportunity to continue doing what I love to do so close to home and my family. Our goal throughout the organization is to be successful, and for me, that means chasing a championship. I’m ready to get started.”
In addition to Slate, the team has announced the signing of former Philadelphia Wings star Jake Bergey as Offensive Coordinator for the 2012 season. The son of former Eagles linebacker Bill Bergey played ten seasons with the Wings from 1998 to 2008. In his 133 games with Philadelphia, Bergey posted 256 goals and 557 points, which were second most in Wings history at the time of his retirement.
Soon after the Rockets named Dave Stilley to serve as Defensive Coordinator on Slate’s staff. With the addition of the former Philadelphia Wings star, the Rockets now boast over three decades of indoor lacrosse experience.
Stilley played 11 years in the NLL, winning three championships with the New York Titans, Colorado Mammoth and the Wings, as well as the 1999 World Cup of Lacrosse over Canada. He was a First Team All-American at Duke University, and has served as the Assistant General Manager of the Wings. In addition to his playing career, Dave has been a youth lacrosse coach for the last 15 years.
“Adding Dave Stilley to a staff that already has Tom Slate and Jake Bergey on it is such a coup for us,” said Makal. “We have three well-known and respected guys in the lacrosse world who have been teammates and friends for years. They have common ground with their understanding of the game, and that shortens the learning curve for our players considerably. The fact that they’re all committed to the teaching aspect of the game and committed to player development makes these guys a valuable commodity to our organization.”
Stilley added, “This is a great opportunity to work with Tom and Jake and take on a new adventure with a couple of my best friends and grow the game of lacrosse in the process. I’m very excited to be a part of the Reading Rockets organization”
The Rockets kick off the 2012 campaign in Trenton on September 14th and return to the Launch Pad on September 29th to take on the Jacksonville Bullies. Season Tickets are available now at (610) 314-7323 or online at www.rocketslax.com.