In the twenty-ninth edition of “Legends of the Game”, we look at the life and career of Bob Hamley.
Bob Hamley is the former head coach of the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League. He is also a former head coach and General Manager of the Edmonton Rush, and a former NLL player.
Hamley played four seasons with the Buffalo Bandits, winning two Championships. Following his playing career, he became head coach and GM of the Kitchener-Waterloo Braves of the Ontario Lacrosse Association. After three years in Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamley was named an assistant coach to Bob McMahon of the Albany Attack, and took the team that had the league’s worst offense in 2001 to the 2002 Championship game, losing at home to the Toronto Rock.
In September 2002, Hamley was named head coach and GM of the Columbus Landsharks.
In 2003, the Landsharks moved to Arizona, becoming the Sting. Hamley hired Bob McMahon, his boss in Albany, to be an assistant coach.
In the 2005 season, the Sting finished second in the Western Division, and beat both Colorado and Calgary to make it to the Championship game. However, history would repeat itself as Hamley and McMahon were denied the Championship once again by the Toronto Rock. Hamley was named the 2005 recipient of the Les Bartley Award for Coach of the Year, and the next day was also named GM of the Year, becoming the first person in league history to win both awards.
In the 2007 NLL season, he again brought his team to the championship game, this time losing to the Rochester Knighthawks. Hamley continued to serve as the Stings head coach and General Manager until the 2008 NLL season, when the Sting decided for “a number of business reasons” to opt out of the 2008 season following the labor dispute.
Due to the Sting suspending operations for the 2008 season, Hamley joined the Colorado Mammoth as an assistant coach under Bob McMahon.
This reunion was short-lived.
The Edmonton Rush, after starting the 2008 NLL season with an 0-5 record, fired head coach and general manager coach, Paul Day, and hired Hamley to replace him. Hamley led the Rush to a 4-7 record, finishing the season 4-12 and last in the West. Hamley made extensive changes to the team in the off-season, but in 2009, the Rush finished last in the West once again and Hamley was fired.
Hamley remained out of work until March 2010, when he was hired by the Colorado Mammoth as their new head coach. Once again, Hamley’s first move was to hire his old friend Bob McMahon as an assistant coach.
From NLL.com on Hamley’s hiring to the new NLL expansion team in Fort Worth, Texas…
(Fort Worth, Texas, September 1, 2020) – Fort Worth NLL announced today the hiring of Bob Hamley as the team’s Vice President of Lacrosse Operations and General Manager. Having been involved with the National Lacrosse League for nearly thirty years, Hamley brings a wealth of knowledge to the expansion team and will be formally introduced at the team’s launch event scheduled for November 17.
“We are pleased to announce Bob Hamley as our Vice President of Lacrosse Operations and General Manager,” Fort Worth NLL Managing Partner Greg Bibb stated. “Bob brings decades of box lacrosse experience to our organization and has enjoyed success at all levels of the game…as a player, a coach and in management roles. We are fortunate to have someone of his skill level and experience leading our lacrosse operations and I look forward to working with him as we build a team Fort Worth and North Texas will be proud of and excited to support.”
The Owen Sound, Ontario native has helped guide teams to three NLL championship games and won two himself as a player with the Buffalo Bandits in 1992 and 1993. After finishing playing in 1995, Hamley got his start behind the bench in 2001 as an assistant with the Albany Attack, appearing in his first championship game as a member of the coaching staff. He was named Head Coach and General Manager of the Columbus Landsharks in 2002 and was with the team during its move and transformation to the Arizona Sting. During his time in Arizona, Hamley was named NLL General Manager and Coach of the Year in 2005 while also taking the Sting to the 2005 League Championship Game. The squad would go back to the championship again in 2007.
After the Sting ceased operations, Hamley was briefly named as an assistant in Colorado before being hired as the General Manager and Heach Coach of the Edmonton Rush from 2008 to 2009. He was then brought back to Denver as Head Coach in 2010 and helped rebuild the Mammoth through the 2011 Draft with the selection of NLL Rookie of the Year Adam Jones.
Hamley is the National Director of Box Lacrosse and Texas Director for 3D Lacrosse, the nation’s leading and fastest-growing lacrosse services company. 3D Lacrosse offers the industry’s most innovative training for youth- and high school-aged boys and girls lacrosse players, as well as world-class tournament-style events, select travel teams, recruiting showcases and box lacrosse leagues for many levels of organized competition.
“I am humbled and honored to join the Fort Worth NLL organization,” Hamley said. “I would like to thank Bill Cameron and Greg Bibb for their confidence in me to lead the lacrosse operations of the franchise. I am excited to get started on building a winning team on and off the floor.”
Fort Worth NLL will begin play in November 2021 as the league’s 14th member club and will call Dickies Arena home. The organization will announce the team’s name, logo and colors during the November 17th event.
Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.
An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.
Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.
In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.
Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).
Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.