The Nanaimo Timbermen organization lost one lacrosse legend behind the bench, but gained another.
The T-men announced today, March 11, that Lewis Ratcliff, who was a star during his playing days, is returning to the organization to coach the junior A squad. The opening came up because another former star, Kaleb Toth, stepped down from the senior A bench and is being replaced by Dave Bremner, who had been coaching the juniors.
“We are lucky,” said Chris Bowman, president of the Nanaimo Timbermen. “It took us a while; I knew that this was coming for a while, but to find a suitable replacement that we thought was able to give those kids that opportunity to go and compete for a Minto Cup, that took a little time.”
Ratcliff played two seasons in Nanaimo in 2010-11, racking up 136 points in 24 games. He won NLL championships with the Calgary Roughnecks and Washington Stealth and Mann Cups with the Victoria Shamrocks.
“He’s a great leader, he’s a great coach and I think the kids are going to respond extremely well,” Bowman said. “A lot of them probably watched him play growing up and have seen the level that he was at.”
Bowman said it was an easy decision to promote Bremner to the senior A club. The team president said the new head coach was a great teacher and one of Toth’s mentors, so the transition will work well.
“It’s going to be a great change, a different voice,” Bowman said. “Kaleb did a phenomenal job, he’s tough to replace, but I think we really do have the person that’s able to do it.”
The style of lacrosse should resemble what the T-men have tried to do in recent years.
“Dave really wants to push the ball in transition and that’s the team we’ve built…” Bowman said. “You’re going to see an exciting team pushing that every time. We’ve got the players to do that and when we do that well, we excel.”
Bowman said Toth stepped away from coaching senior A to spend more time with his family.
In addition to coaching the senior A club, Bremner will remain general manager of the junior A club.