John Tavares enters his fourth season on the Bandits’ coaching staff and first as head coach. He joined the coaching staff on September 25, 2015 following an illustrious playing career.
After being acquired from the Detroit Turbos prior to the 1992 season, Tavares played in Buffalo for the next 24 years, and eventually concluded his career as the NLL’s all-time leader in games played (306), goals (815), assists (934) and points (1,749), and finished second in league history in loose ball recoveries (2,169). He was named to the NLL All-Pro team a record 19 times and appeared in 10 All-Star Games, tied for the most by any player. He also won the league’s Most Valuable Player award in 1994, 2000 and 2001.
The native of Mississauga, Ontario served as an alternate captain for the Bandits for 18 seasons before being named captain prior to the 2013 season. He led the team in scoring in 17 of his 24 seasons with the franchise, including 10 consecutive seasons from 1999 to 2008. While he was a player, he served as the team’s representative to the Professional Lacrosse Players’ Association.
Tavares was a part of four Bandits championship teams (1992, 1993, 1996 and 2008), and tops the NLL’s all-time playoff list in games played (38), goals (84), assists (116) and points (200). As part of the 25th anniversary celebration, Tavares was also named to the All-Time Bandits Team.
On September 27, 2016 he was enshrined in the NLL Hall of Fame, and on March 11, 2016 his number 11 jersey was retired to the rafters of KeyBank Center. He was also elected to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame on November 4, 2015 as a part of the 25th anniversary class.
Tavares is also an assistant coach for Major Series Lacrosse’s Six Nations Chiefs.