Blogs and Commentary

posted 11.20.2013 at 11.05 a.m. by Corey McLaughlin

Rotanz Offers to Negotiate Return as Shoreham-Wading River Coach

There appears to be an opening for longtime Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) boys' lacrosse coach Tom Rotanz to return as leader of the program after being ousted last week.

At a school board meeting Tuesday night on Long Island — during which a new athletic director was approved — more than 100 Shoreham-Wading River alumni, players and parents filled a high school auditorium to demand Rotanz's return, according to the Riverhead News-Review.

Rotanz himself addressed the board, and offered to meet with district superintendent Steven Cohen and negotiate a return. Cohen said last week that Rotanz was "too controversial and "new leadership" was necessary.

"I don't like being controversial, I just like coaching." Rotanz said. "I'll do whatever I can to make your job easier. If we can just sit down and work this out and have these meetings and hopefully face these bigger issues down the road."

According to the News-Review, Cohen later told a member of the audience that he would think over Rotanz's offer.

This meeting was reportedly more cordial than one last week, at which the decision to not re-hire Rotanz was announced and during which a member of the audience challenged a board member to a fight.

Rotanz said last week he was offered the opportunity to coach for one more season if he agreed to resign the next year, but the coach that has led the Wildcats since 1995, won three state championships and was also an assistant coach on the gold medal-winning 2012 U.S. under-19 men's national team, is not ready to retire.

Shoreham-Wading River won the Long Island Class C championship in June, before falling to Bronxville in the state semifinals. The Wildcats finished 18-2 and received votes in the final Nike/US Lacrosse National Top 25 poll. Rotanz's son, Tim Rotanz, became just the fourth player in Long Island history to surpass 400 career points. He's now a freshman at Maryland.