Rochester Knighthawks general manager Dan Carey and head coach Mike Hasen have been named finalists for the National Lacrosse League’s annual year-end awards, honoring the top players, coaches and executives for the 2022-23 season.
Carey is among three finalists for the General Manager of the Year Award while Hasen is in the running for the Les Bartley Award as Head Coach of the Year.
Carey and Hasen collectively engineered one of the most incredible, yet unexpected transformations by an NLL franchise this past season. The 2022-23 campaign was one of significant change and remarkable growth for the Knighthawks, who after combining for just six wins through their first two years of the expansion-era, finished the season fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with a 10-8 record, culminating with the organization’s first-ever playoff berth.
Rochester opened the season with an unprecedented six consecutive wins, including the first in team history over both Buffalo and Toronto, two of the NLL’s established and prominent organizations, and won their first five straight at home. It marked the longest win streak in team history and tied for the second-longest in the NLL this season with both Buffalo and Georgia. Rochester’s five-game home win streak was also the second-best with only the Toronto Rock having a better run.
Named a finalist for the General Manager of the Year Award for the first time, Carey has been the key architect of the team’s rebuild, most notably with the acquisition of one of the NLL’s top scorers in forward Connor Fields.
A native of East Amherst, New York, Fields enjoyed a record-setting season and was the catalyst to Rochester’s extraordinary rise up the NLL standings. He closed out the year second in the NLL with 52 goals behind only New York’s Jeff Teat and finished fifth with 112 points despite one missing one game. Fields, who set the Knighthawks single-season franchise records for goals, assists and points, became only the third American-born player in NLL history to record 100 points in a season.
Carey is also responsible for drafting and developing other key players, including three-time Defensive Player of the Year Ryland Rees, former All-Rookie Team selection Ryan Smith and goaltender Rylan Hartley, this year’s Unsung Hero who started all 18 games and was one of only four netminders to play more than 1,000 minutes.
Carey will serve as general manager of Team Canada at the upcoming 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in San Diego. The premier international event, which occurs every four years, kicks off on Friday, June 21 as the reigning champion and host United States takes on Canada at Snapdragon Stadium at 7 p.m. The 12-day, 30-team tournament will conclude with the gold-medal game on Saturday, July 1.
Hasen, who previously won the Les Bartley Award in 2011 as a rookie head coach and remains the only one to do so in his first year, joined elite company back on March 25 in Las Vegas, where he was behind the bench for his 200th regular-season game, a feat only five others in league history have accomplished before him. He became just the sixth head coach – and third this season behind Georgia’s Ed Comeau and Vancouver’s Troy Cordingley – to have coached 200 National Lacrosse League games. Hasen also owns the distinction of being the only member of the prestigious group, which also includes Paul Day, Darris Kilgour and Derek Keenan, to reach the mark having spent his entire career in the same city.
One of the most decorated coaches in league history, Hasen is certainly no stranger to Rochester, having previously served as head coach of the former Knighthawks franchise from 2011 to 2019. In nine seasons behind the bench with the original Knighthawks, Hasen guided Rochester to an 81-75 regular season record while leading the team to six playoff appearances. The Knighthawks also finished among the top two teams in the East Division six different times under Hasen, including each of the first five seasons (2011-2015). Hasen’s most successful run at the helm of the Knighthawks came from 2012-14 when he made National Lacrosse League history by leading Rochester to an unprecedented three straight Champion’s Cups. He remains the only NLL bench boss to accomplish the feat.
Hasen finished the season with 97 career wins and remains on pace to become just the sixth coach in NLL history to reach 100 career wins. He surpassed legendary head coach Les Bartley, for whom the Head Coach of the Year Award is named after, for sixth all-time following the win over Halifax on Feb. 11. The team’s win over Georgia on April 22 gave the expansion-era Knighthawks their first 10-win season in franchise history and was the first for a Hasen-led Knighthawks team since the 2017-18 campaign.
The NLL will unveil the 2022-23 winners later this month ahead of Game 1 of the 2023 NLL Finals.