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League Mourns Passing Of Rock General Manager Terry Sanderson

Legendary lacrosse champion passed away on Thursday at the age of 62

The National Lacrosse League mourns the loss of Toronto Rock general manager Terry Sanderson who passed away on Thursday at the age of 62. Earlier this month, the lacrosse legend became suddenly ill while vacationing in Florida.

“Terry Sanderson was a giant in the sport,” said NLL Commissioner George Daniel. “On behalf of the entire NLL, I want to convey our deepest sympathies to the Sanderson family and Toronto Rock organization. The impact of his loss is immeasurable. We are all truly saddened by this news.”

Sanderson enjoyed a successful coaching career in the NLL, first serving as a head coach for Albany in 2000. The Orangeville, Ontario native then coached with Montreal and Ottawa before taking over for the Rock, where he won the Champion’s Cup in 2005 while coaching his son Josh.

Sanderson had been serving as the Rock’s General Manager since 2009, an impressive tenure highlighted by a Champion’s Cup victory in 2011. Sanderson won the Champion’s Cup in 2009 as an assistant coach with the Calgary Roughnecks, another championship that he shared with his son, who has since returned to Toronto as a forward with the Rock. Sanderson also served as an assistant for the Buffalo Bandits, which included a trip to the 2004 NLL Finals.

Rock owner Jamie Dawick, who had assumed the role of Toronto’s general manager over the past two weeks, released a statement on Friday.

“The Toronto Rock family is extremely saddened by the passing of our good friend and the team’s General Manager, Terry Sanderson.

Terry fell ill in early November, suffering a heart attack while on a family vacation in Florida. He succumbed to the effects of the heart attack surrounded by his family yesterday in Florida.

‘T’, as he was best known to everyone, was with me since day one with the franchise after I bought the team in the summer of 2009. I learned a lot from ‘T’, not only about the game he loved so much, but also about loyalty and respect, something T showed in spades to his players.

He formed the foundation of how the Toronto Rock operate and build a team and it’s the legacy that he will leave behind for us as we move forward. 

There will never be another like Terry Sanderson, rest in peace my friend.”

A former player and iconic figure in both the Orangeville and lacrosse communities, Sanderson played in the original NLL for Syracuse (1974) and Quebec (1975).

The Roughnecks also released a statement on Friday.

“It is with heavy hearts the Calgary Roughnecks send condolences to the family of Terry Sanderson. We are deeply saddened to receive the news of the passing of one of lacrosse’s most respected individuals. Terry’s contributions as a player, coach and executive, from the grassroots level to the professional level, were immeasurable. He will be greatly missed by the entire lacrosse community and forever be etched in Roughneck history as a member of the coaching staff of the 2009 championship team. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of his family during this difficult period.”

Respected by so many for his championship pedigree along with his strong character both on and off the field, the lacrosse world has lost a legend.

Read more about Sanderson’s legacy with a feature story on IL Indoor by clicking here along with a tribute in the Toronto Sun by clicking here.

Services for are set for Friday, Dec. 5 in Mono, Ontario. The service is at 2 p.m. at the Compass Community Church, 246289 Hockley Road, at the corner of Hockley Road and Highway 10.

Donations in Mr. Sanderson’s memory can be made to Community Living Dufferin or the Northmen Minor Lacrosse Association. Condolences can be offered at the Dods & McNair Funeral Home website.

Watch tribute to the life and legacy of Terry Sanderson via CTV News Barrie by clicking here and read more from the Orangeville Banner by clicking here.