Former Toronto Wolfpack coach Paul Rowley, now in charge of the Salford Red Devils, is on the shortlist for the 2022 Betfred Super League Coach of the Year.
The three nominees were announced Wednesday ahead of this weekend's start of the Betfred Super League playoffs in England.
Rowley, the Wolfpack's first coach, is up against Kristian Woolf of St. Helens and Matt Peet of the Wigan Warriors, whose teams finished 1-2 in the regular-season standings at 21-6-0 and 19-8-0, respectively.
The Salford Red Devils turned their season around under Rowley. After posting just three victories from its first 11 matches, Salford won nine of its last 12 to finish the season in a playoff berth in sixth spot at 14-13-0 with Rowley named coach of the month in July.
Rowley helped put the Wolfpack together as the first coach of the now-defunct North American rugby league franchise.
The Wolfpack won England’s third-tier League 1 in the club’s inaugural 2017 season and topped the second-tier Championship in 2018, missing out on automatic Super League promotion on points difference before losing a promotion playoff dubbed the Million Pound Game 4-2 to London Broncos in October 2018.
Rowley left the club after the 2018 season, with Brian McDermott, now coach of Featherstone Rovers in the Championship, taking over. McDermott led the Wolfpack to the Super League but the team folded in July 2020, midway through its first season in the top flight, due to financial issues.
Former Wolfpack players with Salford include Ryan Brierley, Andy Ackers, Jack Wells and Kallum Watkins. The Red Devils play the Huddersfield Giants on Saturday in a playoff eliminator with the winner advancing to the semifinals.
The coach of the year winner will be announced as part of the Betfred Super League awards show on Sept. 19 at Headingley Stadium in Leeds.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2022
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press