Senior A Timbermen coach steps aside

Art Webster cites travel as key reason for leaving after three years.

The coach of the Nanaimo senior A Timbermen lacrosse team is stepping down.

Art Webster informed the team of his decision last week after wrestling with the decision for a month.

“At the end of the season I was fine, we’d started planning as usual for next season,” said Webster, who has led the T-Men for the past three seasons. “Then about a month ago I started going over it in my mind and I just didn’t feel I had the energy to make that commitment again.”

Webster cited his constant travel from Victoria to Nanaimo for three years and his upcoming retirement from Canada Post next year as reasons for stepping aside.

In his first two seasons as coach Webster took the Timbermen to the brink of the playoffs, losing both times in tie-breakers and narrowly missing out.

An injury-filled 2012 campaign left Nanaimo in sixth place in the seven-team Western lacrosse Association’s senior A division with a 6-11-1 record.

Earl Nicholson, general manager of the T-Men, said Webster’s decision came as a surprise.

“The team has always been competitive since he’s been here,” said Nicholson. “Last year we ran into some real injury issues in the second half of the season but the first two years … he floored a competitive team. He is a player’s coach and the guys really liked working hard for him. We were happy with the job he did, but we knew the travel was getting him down a bit.”

Webster said he will continue to coach the Washington Stealth of the National Lacrosse League.

“I just got to the point where I was unable to give a 110 per cent with the Timbermen, and if I can’t do that I don’t want to be part of anything,” he said. “But this is my passion and I loved working with the players and walking into that locker room. Working with the Timbermen was a real positive thing.”

Nicholson said the team hopes to have a new coach installed by the new year to prepare for the 2013 season that begins in May.

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