Photos by Sean Carpenter and Scobel Wiggins – Ultiphotos.com
The Coach of the Year awards go to the coaches who have led their teams in reaching and surpassing their goals throughout the season. Votes were cast for individual coaches in each conference.
Danny Quarrell, winning for the second consecutive year out of the Western Conference, took the reigns of the Stags back in 2014, alongside then co-head coach Michael Knapp. Knapp, who won this award in 2014, attributed his success to Quarrell, before turning the team over to him fully in 2015. In 2015, coming off an impressive 8-2 season, Quarrell’s Stags once again dominated the Western Conference, finishing 9-1. This season, the Stags once again finished 9-1, defeated the Seattle Rainmakers in the playoffs and have secured their first ever berth in the MLU Championship game. After a 2013 season that saw the Stags win only a single game, finishing 1-9 in the Western Conference, Quarrell has lead Portland to an incredible 26-4, placing them as the second winningest franchise in MLU history.
Darryl Stanley, a rookie coach this season, took a 6-4 Spinners team from 2015 and shaped them into the class of the Eastern Conference, going 9-1 and leading Philadelphia to their first Championship berth as well. Capitalizing on the strength of an established veteran core and impressive crop of rookies, Stanley led his team to a near perfect season, falling just once by a single goal in an overtime road loss to the reigning champions, the Boston Whitecaps. While the 2015 Spinners started strong before stalling out in the late part of the season, the 2016 squad established themselves as the team to beat early in the season and maintained their first place standing in the conference throughout the playoffs.
With both coaches set to meet in the upcoming MLU Championship, we are sure to see one heck of a matchup.