JP Kealey.

Thunder’s Kealey takes NLL, coaching jobs

The star Langley lacrosse player is taking on new challenges.

While some people may require soul-searching when attempting to make the right decision for their career, for the Langley Thunder’s JP Kealey – who had not one but two major choices staring him in the eyes – both were what he called ‘no-brainers.’

And Kealey said ‘yes’ to each, both of which were announced on August 1.

Kealey inked a two-year pact to return to the National Lacrosse League’s New England Black Wolves. And while he prepares for his second season of professional lacrosse, Kealey will keep busy in his new role of head coach of the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men’s field lacrosse team.

And both places offered a sense of familiarity, as well as a keen desire to bring Kealey back.

An unrestricted free agent in the NLL, there was little doubt Kealey was coming back.

“It was a good experience playing there last year. Ultimately that is where I wanted to be, and I am happy to be there,” he said. “They wanted me so it was a no-brainer signing back there.”

Kealey suited up in a pair of games for the Black Wolves in 2018, registering a pair of goals and two helpers in the process.

“We are very excited to get JP back in the fold,” said New England general manager Rich Lisk in a press release announcing the signing. “He has raised the bar playing this summer out west (and) we’re excited to see what he brings to us in his second year.”

The general manager was referencing Kealey’s summer with the Western Lacrosse Association’s Langley Thunder. He led the Thunder with 33 goals and was second with 52 points in 16 games. Kealey’s goal-scoring prowess saw him finish seventh in the entire WLA – not too bad for someone who came out west to play out of Langley Events Centre after going undrafted in Ontario’s Major Series Lacrosse.

Kealey downplayed his summer success.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, team success comes before individual success,” he said, referencing the fact the team missed the WLA post-season after going 7-10-1. There were positives for the league’s youngest team, which had 10 first-year, eight second-year and three third-year players.

“It wasn’t exactly what we wanted but we are a young team that has lots of talent and we have time to figure it out.”

And as for landing the head coaching gig back home in Ottawa, that wasn’t a major surprise either.

Last season, Kealey was a Gee-Gees assistant offensive coach. But after head coach – and Black Wolves teammates Callum Crawford stepped down to accept another coaching position in Oklahoma – Ottawa offered Kealey the post.

“I love coaching lacrosse and have always wanted to be a college lacrosse coach, so it was a no-brainer to take this as well,” Kealey explained.

“JP was the perfect candidate to fill the position as he breathes hard work every day and a ‘go get it’ philosophy that shapes our program,” the Gee-Gees wrote in a Twitter post announcing the hiring.

Kealey – who turns 25 on Aug. 21 – takes the reins of the Gee-Gees despite the fact he is just a few years older than the players he is now in charge of instructing. Even he finds it a bit surprising to land such a big job at a young age.

“But at the same time, I am so excited for it (and) I don’t think it’s something I am not capable of,” he explained. “I look forward to giving it everything that I have got and trying to bring a championship home to the University of Ottawa.”

The Gee-Gees season gets underway in September while the Black Wolves begin in December.

Just Posted

Langley Advance Christmas Fun: Dec. 13, 2018 edition

Send details to LangleyAdvance.com/add-event or news@langleyadvance.com, subject“Christmas fun.”

Langley Advance What’s On: Dec. 13, 2018 edition

Submit Langley events: LangleyAdvance.com/add-event or news@langleyadvance.com (subject: What’s On).

Kazakstan’s U20 team takes 4-3 win over Langley university squad

Thursday night’s game is one of four the visitors are playing at the Langley Events Centre.

Cloverdale’s annual winter ice palace to open Dec. 21

Cloverdale Arena’s 21st-annual ice palace will open on Dec. 21

WHAT’S IN STORE: Producers getting into the holiday spirit

In business happenings, learn about Christmas efforts by two local wineries and a sausage producer.

VIDEO: Sto:lo artist and UFV instructors create award-winning gingerbread house

Chilliwack team wins Vancouver competition with Coast Salish design, solid recipe and laser cuts

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Language on Sikh extremism in report will be reviewed, Goodale says

A public-safety ministry document indicats terrorist threats to Canada included a section on Sikh extremism for the first time

Surrey mayor says city won’t repay $56M spent on LRT, but might pony up $40M in land transfers

There will be no tax increase for Surrey residents resulting from this, McCallum confirms

Questions raised over retailers who shame shoplifters with photos

Alleged theft from a sex shop in Newfoundland led to posts on social media

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Vancouver says court decision allows it to close illegal pot shops

The city says it filed 53 injunctions against businesses that were operating outside its regulations,

Most Read