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2015 Brine Coach of the Year: John Tucker

March 18, 2016
Major League Lacrosse, announced today that Boston Cannons Head Coach John Tucker has been named 2015 Brine Coach of the Year.  Tucker coached the Cannons to an 8-6 record on the season and a fourth seeded playoff position.  The award was based on the votes submitted by the head coaches and general manager of each of the League’s eight teams.   The voting results show that Tucker won the bid by more than half the total votes. Receiving all but two, first place votes.

John Tucker has been the Head Coach of the Boston Cannons since June 2013, although he joined the Cannons coaching staff prior to 2013 as an Assistant Coach.  The 2015 season was markedly different from the past two seasons because a key component of his former Boston squads was no longer a Cannon. Paul Rabil, often regarded as one of the best players in Major League Lacrosse, was the major piece in a blockbuster off-season trade that brought Rabil to the New York Lizards and All-Star midfielder Max Seibald to Boston.

This trade rocked the lacrosse world and had many Boston fans wondering what the Cannons team would look like without one of their star veteran players. It didn’t take long for fans to get a glimpse of what the team would look like. Newly acquired Seibald scored a hat trick in a 17-16 win over Denver to open the 2015 season.  A team-first mentality was formed and driven by Tucker from that moment on.

The style of play had become noticeably different as well. Throughout the season, the trend was clear, offensive production was spread out and tempo was high.  Tucker, in an interview with The Boston Globe, was quoted after that game, “The great thing about this group is they don’t care who scores, from Max on down, they really just want to win, and that’s pretty clear. I think that this group is collectively interested in winning, outside of everything else.

When Cannons attackman, Will Manny, was asked where the team is drawing it’s success from this season, Manny replied, “Coach Tucker gets us all on the same page and it trickles down from there.”  Yet when Tucker is asked in a post-game interview about what he’s doing to guide his team’s success, he says “It’s all them; their internal fortitude, they just stay calm and I’m trying to stay clam as a coach and make sure that’s reflected down the line.


On Father’s Day (June 20 th ) Ryan Tucker , Coach John Tucker’s son, made his MLL debut for the Cannons. Ryan Tucker scored his first career goal that day against Florida. When asked how he felt about his son’s first game, Coach Tucker  started off by saying, “ I was really happy for our team primarily, I know he’s a good player. ” The team-first mentality once again on display.

Back in January, in Tucker’s first interview after the trade, he made this prediction, “The team we are putting together will be young, fast and aggressive.”  The Cannons team has seen the emergence of young talented players like Scott Ratliff, Davey Emala, Brent Adams and Will Manny, have not only bought into team first approach, but have also stepped up in leadership as well. 

Although many new and veteran players saw great progress this season, the reformation of this Cannons team did not begin recently; Coach Tucker has had a strategy in place since he joined the team three seasons ago.  When Kevin Barney, General Manager of the Boston Cannons, was informed that John Tucker was the “Brine Coach of the Year”, he was excited, but not surprised. Barney had this to say about Coach Tucker, “I was thrilled to learn Coach Tucker was voted the Coach of the Year and could not wait to make the phone call to tell him myself.  We've been through a lot the past three seasons.  His vision of how to re-make our team back into a title contender and then the ability to bring in coaches and players to follow through on that vision has been fun to be a part of.  He has created a culture and atmosphere on this team of having fun, playing to each player’s abilities, but also accountability to yourself and most importantly the team.  I want to congratulate Coach Tucker and his entire coaching staff for garnering this recognition from the other coaches and General Managers.

Late in the season when the Cannons clinched their playoff berth with a win over the Bayhawks, Tucker accepted his congratulations by saying, “There’s a lot of guts in that locker room. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys, it’s been such a pleasure, knowing I’ll have another week at least with them, is a really cool thing.”  Tucker describes his work as the Cannons head coach as a privilege and speaks about his players with a great deal of pride.  It’s clear that this team-first mentality has had a positive outcome on the Cannons team thus far. 


2015 Brine Coach of the Year Voting Results

The Brine Coach of the Year is determined based on the total number of points each coach receives. Every vote is assigned a point total, with first place receiving five points, second place receiving three points and third place receiving one point.

First place = 5 points

Second place = 3 points

Third place = 1 point



1ST Place Votes

2ND Place Votes

3RD Place Votes

Total Points

John Tucker

Boston Cannons





Bear Davis

Ohio Machine

0 7 7 28

Joe Spallina

NY Lizards

2 4 4 26

Tim Soudan Rochester Rattlers 0 3 5 14
Dave Cottle

Chesapeake Bayhawks

0 2 0 6
Coach Tucker and the Boston Cannons will travel to Hempstead, New York to face the first seeded New York Lizards in a semi-final matchup on Saturday, Aug. 1, at 6:30pm EST. Tickets are still available by clicking HERE. Or available live on CBS Sports Network. 

The winner of the semi-final will move on to the MLL Championship Game on Saturday, Aug. 8th, at 7pm EST at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, GA. Tickets are still available and can be obtained HERE.