The New York Riptide have named Jim Veltman as the second general manager in franchise history. In addition, Dan Ladouceur has been named the franchise’s head coach.
“First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude and thank all the candidates that applied,” GF Sports Executive Vice President Rich Lisk said. “It was a very thorough process and the application pool made it a hard decision. I enjoyed my time speaking and getting to know all the applicants. When we started the process we had a vision of the kind of person, leader and communicator we wanted in a general manager and coach we were looking for and after talking with Jim and Dan it was apparent they were the perfect fit for our organization.”
Arguably the best defenseman in National Lacrosse League history, Veltman was inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame in 2009 following a 16-year career that saw him win eight championships. He began his career in 1992 with the Buffalo Bandits when the league was the MILL, winning three titles with the club and was also a member of the only undefeated season in MILL/NLL history in 1993. Veltman was selected first overall in the NLL expansion draft in 1998 by the Ontario Raiders, which would become the Toronto Rock in 1999. With the Rock, Veltman served as captain for 10 seasons and led the team to Champions Cups in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2005.
Veltman retired at the end of the 2008 season, wrapping up a career filled with both personal and team accolades. In addition to his eight titles, Veltman was the inaugural recipient of the NLL Sportsmanship Award in 2002 and added a league MVP to his resume in 2004. He led the league in loose balls in 14 of his 16 seasons and still holds the Bandits record for loose balls in a game with 29 in addition to the NLL playoff record in that category. He is second in career loose balls, just surpassed earlier this year by Brodie Merrill, and holds the single-season NLL record with 226 set in 2006. In 2003, he served as the captain of Team Canada’s gold medal winning team at the inaugural FIL World Indoor Championships.
“I feel privileged and thrilled to join the New York Riptide organization as their general manager in the best lacrosse league in the world,” Veltman said. “One key to successfully compete in this league is to surround yourself with good people that you can work with collaboratively and Rich Lisk and Dan Ladouceur fit that criteria very well. There is a good foundation of players to build from here and I plan to lead and support this group as best I can. The ownership group has shown it is committed to becoming the premier franchise in the league and I am excited for the opportunity to play a part in that.”
Named an assistant for the Ajax-Pickering Rock just two weeks after retirement, Veltman also saw action behind the bench for the Rock as assistant under Glenn Clark for the 2009 season. He served as the head coach of the Czech Republic team at the 2011 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships before spending two seasons, 2016 and 2017, behind the bench with Clark again in the NLL, this time as the defensive coordinator with the New England Black Wolves.
“What can I say about Jim that already hasn’t been said,” Lisk said. “I had the pleasure of working with Jim in New England and he was an integral part of laying the foundation of that team. When I was searching for a leader in our organization his name rose to the top. His love of the game, his knowledge of the game, and his compete level is second to none, but I think his biggest attribute is his character, the way he handles himself and the passion he has for this game. I believe the culture of the team starts from the top and after that everything falls into place. With Jim we checked all of those boxes.”
Ladouceur joins the Riptide after spending the last four seasons as the offensive coordinator with the Georgia Swarm. In his first season behind the bench in Georgia, the Swarm set a new NLL record for the most goals scored with 266 and captured the Champions Cup. The Thunder Bay, Ontario native spent 11 seasons in the NLL with the Toronto Rock as a defenseman, 10 of which he was teammates with Veltman.
“When I started this process, I wrote down some names of people I wanted to talk to and Dan was one of the first I thought of,” said Lisk. “I knew of Dan and his playing and coaching career, but I had never sat down and gotten to really know him. After my initial meeting with Dan I knew he was someone I wanted to work with. I want the highest quality, character people in our organization and to lead our team and Dan fills that role perfectly. As a player he was a winner, as a coach he was a winner, but most importantly he brings that character and ‘doing things the right way attitude’ to everything he does. During our interview I was so impressed with his organization, preparedness and knowledge of the game. What also stood out were his leadership qualities not just with as a player and coach but also with the Toronto Police Service. I couldn’t be more excited and proud to name Dan the head coach of the New York Riptide.”
The six-foot-six Ladouceur captured five Champions Cups while a member of the Rock and wrapped up his career with 16 points and 232 loose balls as well as 428 penalty minutes. His penalty minute total is the second-most in Rock team history. Following his playing career, Ladouceur spent five seasons behind the bench for the Rock, serving as the defensive coordinator, and helped lead the team to the Champions Cup appearance in 2015. In addition to his coaching duties, Ladouceur also serves as a sergeant for the Toronto Police Service in Ontario.
“I am very humbled and honored to have been selected to lead the New York Riptide into the next NLL season,” Ladouceur said. “The Riptide have a solid foundation from which to build and I am excited to work closely with this ownership group, Rich Lisk, Jim Veltman and the entire Riptide staff. I am fortunate to be walking into a solid Riptide roster that has proven that their work ethic cannot be questioned and that they have a passion to win. I look forward to building relationships with our players and helping to create a winning culture. I am attacking this journey with a renewed respect for our sport and an unwavering commitment to creating a positive and winning culture that will push the New York Riptide to becoming the premier lacrosse organization in the NLL.”
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