Lawrence Nagy twice led the Okanagan Sun to provincial stardom as head coach; once in 1988 and again in 2000. Early last week, he was named the Sun’s new general manager, and he wants to get the team back to their winning ways.
“We want to win a national championship,” said Nagy. “We’re going to get back to basics, and back to the fundamentals to make sure everybody who is part of the team contributes towards us being successful.”
Former general manager, Jay Christensen, will remain with the organization with the board of directors, but he hands off the GM duties to an excited Nagy.
“I’ve always been a Sun fan. Jay coached for me when I was head coach and he’s done a great job,” said Nagy. “Jay and I have spoken and I wanted to get involved when Jay stepped down. I hope I can contribute as GM like Jay did, and bring some success and good (coaches) into the organization, like I did when I was coach, to help the Sun win.”
That’s the first item on Nagy’s list as he takes over the GM duties: find a head coach.
Ben Macauley stepped down as head coach earlier in November after a successful season which saw the Sun cruise through the playoffs only to be crushed by the Langley Rams 39-7.
Both general manager Nagy and team president Les Weiss want to build off the 2018 season.
“Nobody’s happy when we don’t win,” said Weiss. “I was disappointed for our fans for the outcome of our last game. It’s easy to look at your glass half empty; we had lots of injuries to key guys but also lots of young players with good talent. Ben Macauley (and the coaching staff) did a great job recruiting for us to get us into the playoffs, and after that loss at our last game that’s when Nagy got involved.”
Nagy played football in Kelowna growing up and throughout high school as a linebacker and played with the UBC and University of Alberta football teams before coming back to the Okanagan to join the Sun.
“I’m a stickler for taking care of the small things and getting back to the fundamentals of football,” said Nagy. “At the end of the year, if every player has improved we’ll be successful. But that’s the coaches’ responsibility, mine is to bring in the right guys to ensure that happens.”
Sun president Weiss knows the former coach and GM gave it everything they had, but is excited to see how Nagy takes control of the team to give a great fan experience.
“For the fan experience, mediocrity isn’t an option for us. It was an easy decision to being in Lawrence, and at the end of the day we needed the help. Lawrence will be more hands on, he’ll operate the team differently, and he’s going to put his fingerprints on the team both on and off the field,” said Weiss.
As for the open head coach position, Nagy isn’t naming the short list, but says they hope to have the position filled before Christmas so once the new year starts the Sun can hit the ground running.
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