Hamley Enshrined in Hometown Hall of Fame
by Nick Salen
Colorado Mammoth head coach Bob Hamley was recently immortalized in his hometown of Owen Sound in Ontario, Canada.
Earlier this month, Hamley was among 11 total inductees enshrined into the Owen Sound Sports Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for those who have contributed to the growth of local sports, as builders or participants, in the town of just under 22,000 people.
“It is truly an honor,” Hamley commented. “Owen Sound has been known for a long time to have great athletes come out of that town (lacrosse players, hockey players, baseball players), and to be part of that group is quite an honor. You see some of the players that come out of that town like [Mammoth forward] Adam Jones this year or [Colorado transition player] Matt MacLeod, both Owen Sound natives. It is a great sports town.”
Throughout his lacrosse playing career, Hamley won six Canadian Championships, as well as two NLL Championships during his four seasons with the Buffalo Bandits. From the 1992 to 1995 seasons, Hamley tallied 57 goals and 78 assists for Buffalo.
In total, Hamley recorded 750 goals and 1,800 points in his time on the turf.
“It is a great honor not only for Bob himself, but for the organization as a whole,” said Mammoth president and general manager Steve Govett. “I think it is a testament to how good people operate in the organization and we are thrilled to have him here.”
Ironically, Hamley spent a large portion of his playing career with the Fergus Thistles, a longtime rival of Owen Sound.
“In one way or another [I]ended up beating Owen Sound to get to the championships,” said Hamley. “So I was a Fergus Thistle and they were the Owen Sound North Stars, and I didn’t think I would ever be put back in my hometown’s Hall of Fame just because of the rivalry and being on the other side of it.”
Despite an event-filled life on the floor, Hamley quickly recalled one memory that stood out from all others back in 1990.
“We won the team championship in Fergus, and it was the same weekend our first-born son was born. I have been very fortunate to play on some great teams and [with] some great people, great coaches, but the weekend my son was born was pretty special.”
After his playing career finished in the NLL, Hamley became general manager and head coach of the Kitchener-Waterloo Braves in the Ontario Lacrosse Association. He was then named assistant coach of the Albany Attack, helping lead the team to a 2002 NLL Champion’s Cup Final appearance. From there Hamley took on the role as GM and head coach of the Columbus Landsharks, who would eventually become the Arizona Sting.
In 2005, Hamley earned his due from his peers. A title game appearance was accompanied by NLL Coach of the Year and GM of the Year honors, making Hamley the first in league history to receive both awards. He then briefly joined the Mammoth staff in 2008 as an assistant before being hired as the head coach for the Edmonton Rush. Later in 2010, Hamley’s tenure as Mammoth head coach began.
For all of his accomplishments, both on and off the floor, Hamley will forever be revered as one of Owen Sound’s all-time greats.
“My Uncle Hector is there. He was a lacrosse and hockey player - a great hockey player - so I am very proud of him,” Hamley noted. “A guy I played with in ‘82, [who] I won a Junior ‘B’ championship with, Dave Cruickshank, was the captain and he is in there. He was an incredible lacrosse player that I looked up to.”