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Lacrosse team names Andrew MacKay new coach

February 12, 2014

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

No one should read anything negative, Hal Cowie says, into the fact that the Kingston Kings are going into the Ontario Junior C Lacrosse League season with their sixth head coach in six years.

“We have, as an executive, consciously selected young, up-and-coming coaches,” Cowie, the team’s vice-president said. “The positive thing about that is they bring youth and enthusiasm. The down side is if they are moving forward in their careers and their lives, we probably won’t have them for a long time, but the positive energy that they bring is worth it.”

Andrew MacKay, the newest of the Kings court of coaches, is not an unfamiliar face. He served as an assistant coach for Mike Dube in 2013. Dube, because of work commitments, is unable to return to the team this year.

“With regret, Mike’s career path has changed,” Cowie said. “He did a great job last year and if nothing else started a new type of program.

“Andrew’s credentials are excellent. We have every reason to believe he will move the Kings in a positive direction.”

MacKay, 24, is from Williamstown. He played his minor lacrosse in Cornwall and five years of junior B lacrosse, first in Cornwall and then in Montreal. He played intercollegiate field lacrosse at Bishop’s, where he earned a business degree and was a teammate of Dube. MacKay was a captain there for two years and the Gaiters won the national university championship in his final season.

He’s coached for six years, first with the midget team in Cornwall, then with the junior C Celtics, who won the division championship both of MacKay’s years as an assistant. After moving to Kingston in 2012, he joined the Kings last year.

“To be asked to be a head coach for the first time is an honour,” MacKay said. “I really want to do great things with the program.”

Though the addition of teams from traditional lacrosse hotbeds Whitby, Peterborough and Clarington last year made the East division tougher, Kingston improved from 5-11 in 2012 to 7-8-1.

“We (improved by) leaps and bounds last year as a coaching staff and we hope we can follow that into this year,” MacKay said. “We achieved many goals, so I’d see (last year) as a success and something to build off. If nothing else, it was a step forward.

“The mold has been set and we’re going to try to keep going in the same direction. The ultimate goal would be to win the Far East division but (mainly the aim is) to be better than last year, not to have any falters. Also, to make it a fun event to watch when people come to see us.”

MacKay, who will be joined on the bench by Dr. Mike Watson, who also served the team as an assistant coach last year, said being the team’s sixth coach in six years doesn’t trouble him at all.

“I know I’m replacing someone who has passion for the team and if he could be there he would,” he said. “I just hope I can do as good a job as my predecessor did.”

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