Tackett Named Bolts Interim Head Coach Ahead of Sockers Clash
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Jeff Tacket, who has been the Anaheim Bolts Assistant and Goalkeeper Coach since the franchise’s inception in 2011, has been named Interim Head Coach for the remainder of the current PASL campaign. The appointment, which follows former Head Coach Bernie Lilavois’ decision to transition to the role of General Manager, comes at a crucial time for the Bolts. The side narrowly missed out on the postseason in its inaugural season and once again finds itself outside the playoff picture after recent defeats to Turlock and Arizona.
In addition to the move, Adriano de Lima has been given more responsibility in his role as Bolts player-Assistant Coach.
“I am pleased to announce Jeff Tackett as our Interim Head Coach for the rest of the season,” General Manager Lilavois said. “He has been by my side since day one with the team as an Assistant and Goalkeeper Coach and will help us have a seamless transition as we move this club forward. Jeff knows talent and knows how to get the best out of players everywhere he has coached. Now it's time for him to translate all that into the pro ranks.”
Tackett, a former goalkeeper whose 20-year career was ended by a severe shoulder injury, transitioned to the sideline in 1995 and has spent time as a member of the coaching staffs at Chino High School, Santiago High School and Claremont High School. From 1996 to 2005, he was a Goalkeeper Coach and State Evaluating Coach with the Olympic Development Program, followed by a 17-year stint as Director of the Southern California School of Goalkeeping, a post he continues to hold today.
From 1997 to 1998, Tackett was the Goalkeeper Coach at Mt. San Antonio College, before becoming an Assistant and Goalkeeper Coach with the Cal Baptist women’s team. He held that position until 2001, at which point he was named Co-Head Coach and Goalkeeper Coach of the men’s program. After two years in that role, the former netminder was an Assistant Coach and later the Head Coach of semi-professional West Coast Soccer from 2000 to 2002, followed by a stint as the Director of Coaches and Player Development at Corona United from 2004 to 2006.
Tackett has been an Assistant and Goalkeeper Coach with Cal Poly Pomona since 2005 and took on the added role of Director of Coaching at Corona Eagles FC from 2008 to 2011.
“Having been asked to take over with the Bolts, my goal is to get the players back on track and believing that we have what it takes to fight for the title,” Anaheim’s new Interim Head Coach offered. “I’m very excited to step into a new role and happy to allow Bernie (Lilavois) focus all of his attention on crucial matters off the field. Both Adriano de Lima and I are entirely committed to preparing the guys for a strong second half of the season.
“We’re by no means out of playoff contention, especially given that six of our remaining nine regular season games are at home. If we take care of business in our own venue, there’s no reason we shouldn’t get into the postseason and create enough momentum to compete for a championship.”
Assistant Coach and attacking ace De Lima welcomes the recent shuffling of the deck.
“I believe these moves are for the good of the organization,” he said. “We thought the attendance at our home opener was alright, but then it dropped off instead off increasing for the second game, in addition to the operational issues we had. Those are problems we absolutely have to fix, and Bernie has made the right decision in dedicating all of his attention to that cause.”
Having observed Jeff Tackett’s work as the Bolts Goalkeeper Coach for more than a full season, the 31-year-old De Lima welcomes the club’s decision to promote one of its own.
“Jeff is very easygoing and soft-spoken in dealing with the players,” he said. “At the same time he’s extremely organized and honest, and he truly has a plan in place for everyone on the roster. That combination makes him an excellent Head Coach. I’m excited for him and the team.”
Tackett will face a stern test in his very first match at the helm, as the Bolts travel to take on rivals and defending champions San Diego Sockers tomorrow night at VV Casino Arena. The Sockers are currently riding a 44-game win streak, which is a record in U.S. professional sports history.
“With the players that we have, we definitely have a fighting chance,” Anaheim’s newly appointed Interim Head Coach assessed. “We gave San Diego a run for their money for good stretches of our games against them last season, but we had a tendency to drop off temporarily, which is enough for a talented team like that to pull away. The goal has to be to play smart, remain focused and stick to our game plan in all four quarters.”
Like Tackett, player-Assistant Coach De Lima likes his side’s chances in the meeting with the mighty Sockers.
“I’m extremely excited and motivated because I always see change as an opportunity,” said the Brazilian. “We now have the chance to bounce back from the recent losses by ending San Diego’s streak. That will be a major accomplishment for whichever team manages to do so. If it’s us, I really think it will bring back that positivity we all had early in the season.”
In addressing the bigger picture, De Lima continued, “I look forward to my expanded role as an Assistant Coach. So far, my primary job has been to help Bernie Lilavois carry out his ideas. Now I will need to take more responsibility, since I have a lot of experience in the indoor game and really know all of our current players as well some of the guys we’re looking to bring on.”
The confidence displayed by De Lima and Tackett is shared by Lilavois, who has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to create a truly memorable gameday experience for the December 27 home clash with the Mexico Toros.
“I have all the confidence in the world in Jeff and Adriano, and I know the players will give it their all for them on the field while I focus on turning things around off the field,” the former indoor soccer legend said. “Together we can grow the Bolts into a special franchise for our community. I look forward to a bright future and hope for a warm welcome from the fans for Jeff and the Boys at Thursday’s home game against Mexico.
After taking on hosts San Diego tomorrow, the Bolts will face the visiting Toros on Thursday, December 27, with both matches set to kick off at 7 p.m. PT. Tickets start at $12 and may be purchased through Ticketmaster or the Anaheim Convention Center Arena box office. Parking is free. For more information, please call the Bolts front office at 714-321-9898 or the Anaheim Convention Center Arena at 714-765-8980.