Brad MacArthur – A Genuine Love for Lacrosse

Brad MacArthur has been involved in lacrosse as a player, coach and volunteer/builder for forty years. Part of the MacArthur family legacy is lacrosse, as the game has been part of the family for three generations -  Bill MacArthur Sr. (Brad’s Grandfather), Bill MacArthur Jr. (Brad’s Father), Lachlan MacArthur (Brad’s Uncle) and Thomas MacArthur (Brad’s brother) – were all lacrosse players. The MacArthur family is legendary within the lacrosse community of Wallaceburg, Ontario.

After a successful career as a player, Brad has been involved as a builder in numerous aspects of lacrosse – Team Executive, League Executive, Team Manager, Coach, Referee and other volunteer roles.  He has made a significant contribution to lacrosse on behalf of Ontario at the team, league, provincial, national and international levels.  His contribution has been long-term and he continues to remain active.

 Career as a Player

• As a youngster, Brad played minor lacrosse beginning in 1981 at the tyke level in the Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse Association. Brad was part of the 1983 OLA Novice “B” Champions, a team which went undefeated

•  Took part in the 1986 Canadian Pee Wee Championships held in Toronto and was a key member of the Wallaceburg 1988 Bantam “B” finalists

• Selected in the 1st round of the 1992 OLA Jr. “A” draft by the Sarnia Pacers

• Played 16 years of lacrosse beyond minor lacrosse, including 5 years playing Junior “A” lacrosse participating in two Jr. “A” All-star games

• Successful career as a collegiate lacrosse player at St. Andrews College in North Carolina

• Played 9 seasons in Major Series Lacrosse including being a player on the 2000 Brooklin Redmen Mann Cup championship team

• Recipient of the prestigious Brooklin Redmen team award; the “Scotty McMichael Award” which is presented annually to the Brooklin Redmen player who best exemplifies the love of competition, commitment to his teammates and dedication to minor sports

• Played 2 seasons in the Western Lacrosse Association with North Shore

• Played 2 seasons in the Alberta Senior League with attending two Presidents Cup championships winning a Bronze medal in 2003 with the Edmonton Outlaws

• Brad ended his lengthy and accomplished career as a player with the Brooklin Merchants of the OLA Senior “B” league 

 Career as a Coach and Builder

Brad has been coaching lacrosse teams for almost three decades. He has coached minor lacrosse in Whitby, Barrie and Wallaceburg, along with being part of the Team Ontario program.  He has coached at the Junior level with the OLA Junior “B” Clarington Green Gaels and in Alberta with the Junior “A” Calgary Raiders.  Beyond the Junior level, Brad MacArthur has coached the Barrie Blizzard and Durham Turfdogs of the CLAX league as well as the Whitby Steelhawks of the Arena Lacrosse League.  Currently Brad serves as the Head Coach of the Brooklin Lacrosse Club of the OLA Major Series Lacrosse League.  And finally, Brad MacArthur has made a huge impact coaching Team Israel. 

Awards Bestowed upon Brad MacArthur

  • Ontario Senior Lacrosse League (Brooklin Merchants) Coaching Staff of the Year in 2019
  • Lacrosse Man of the Year - Israel - 2015
  • Canadian Lacrosse League Coach of the Year 2015
  • Inducted into the Wallaceburg Sports Hall of Fame in 2014
  • Canadian Lacrosse League Coaching Staff of the Year 2012
  •  Inducted in St. Andrews College Hall of Fame in 2004

*****

This interview with Brad MacArthur (Head Coach of the Brooklin Lacrosse Club) was conducted in July 2020

1. Why did you take up coaching?

I started coaching in Wallaceburg when I was in midget, and our young kids needed a team. I think they were novices at the time. I came back into it when I moved to Durham region and we started doing clinics and teaching. My Dad had always coached and gave back to the game as had many other family members. It wasn’t something I thought I was “taking up”. I enjoyed giving back to others and seeing others have the passion for the sport. The human performance and education part of the coaching process is intriguing to me as well.

2. Did you ever expect to be coaching at the high level you are?

Expect might not be the correct word. I just tried to stay ready and prepare myself in case I was fortunate enough to be in the position.

3. Do you have a particular philosophy or style of coaching?

I try to adapt to environments and be amenable to situations. From team to team the style needs to change. What Team Israel needs may not be what the Brooklin LC needs for example.

4. Who or what influenced your style of coaching?

I’ve had plenty of solid coaches with a mixture of styles over the years which I think shapes styles of coaches. Style is also something that is evolving on a day to day basis. Starting with my father Bill, Wayne Colley, Terry Rowland, Jim Bishop, Peter Vipond, Terry & Lindsay Sanderson, Paul Day, Chris Hall, Rod Jensen, Bill Munro and my college coach Jon Lantzy. They were all different in their approaches. The depth and knowledge people pass on through coaching is unparalleled. You interact with people on different levels and they provide varying perspectives. Howie Borkan and Bill Beroza, both US Lacrosse Hall of Fame members, and Israel Lacrosse board members are examples of that. Howie is very much an Executive type person, while Bill has been through World Games as a player and Coach. Doug Luey, I’ve been around him for a long time as well. People challenge you, and you listen to their ideas and concepts through their experiences, shape those into your own ideas and re-deploy those ideas for your own circumstances.

5. Who is the coach you most admire?  Why?

There is such a world out there of excellent coaches past and present. I’ve read a ton of books on some of the greats. You have the Bill Belichick, Nick Saban, Phil Jackson, Scotty Bowman - figures who kind of dominate headlines. A couple names that I’ve always been intrigued by and admired were Pat Quinn and Doc Rivers. Different sports and different approaches, but you can take so much from them and translate that to lacrosse.

6. What do you feel are the reasons why you are as successful as you are?

The people I have asked to assist our programs have come on board sharing the same vision and goals. I’ve had great people help along the way, and from team to team or event to event we develop a consistent approach.  My wife extends her full support without reservation each time an opportunity is brought up. That makes things easy to consider. The groups I’ve run teams with have had some of my closest friends and colleagues. That feeling is family and culture is evident.

7. Can you share some thoughts about your experiences coaching internationally?

I’ve been fortunate enough to be heavily involved in both the field and box programs in Israel which has been a tremendous experience. As a coach you reflect on how fortunate we are for some of the resources we have compared to many countries. Some of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in the sport are as a result of international lacrosse. The kid’s clinic in Radotin CZ is a staple for me annually. Hosting the World Field Championships in Israel was a first.

 8. Best team you ever coached? Why? 

I can’t even begin to answer that. Teams have different journeys; some have been champions while others weren’t. One of the most exciting journeys was our 2002 Green Gaels season. We won the Founders Cup, while we were underdogs going in. In 2015 we won a CLAX Championship in Barrie. I was fortunate to work with a couple of Brooklin alumni in Rob Blasdell and Derek Collins in turning around a 3-11 franchise. Team Israel made it to the bronze medal game at our first World Indoors which in 2018.  With the Arena Lacrosse League, Paul St. John hired our group to handle an expansion team. We had a .500 regular season and ended up winning the championship. I was an assistant coach with the 2013 Team Ontario midgets. They were a tremendous group of kids. Talented and gritty in all the right spots. We beat a pretty good First Nations team in an epic final in front of a capacity crowd in Whitby.

 9. Best (most skilled) player(s) you coached? Why?

Brad declined to cite any single player or players thinking it was unfair and very tough to measure.

10. Toughest player(s) you coached? Why?

I guess that depends on how people define toughness. I’ve seen a lot and had plenty of players who played through pain, or caused some pain.  I’ll go with someone people will have to look up. In Calgary I was able to have a hand in assisting in starting the Raiders Jr. “A” franchise. We had a young fellow by the name of Cam Foss.  He was fearless and embodied what we had to accomplish starting a Jr. “A” team. We played in a mixed Jr. “A”/Sr. “B” league.  Cam Foss was willing to stand in against anybody physically. He was one of those players that everyone on the team knew he had your back, but he also played the game.

11. What do you think (in general), your players think/feel about you as a coach?

I’m sure there are mixed reviews on that as with any coach. Hopefully they took away that I was willing to put as much time, commitment and sacrifice into our teams as it took to be successful.

12  What do you foresee in your Coaching future?

That is tough to say. It is an ever-changing world. Opportunities arise in the field and box version of the games. I see myself staying involved internationally and assisting in the development of the sport in non-traditional areas. There are so many good people in this game that just want to share and grow the sport. Coaching education has been something that really has piqued my interest.

 13.  Any final thoughts you would like to share?

Coaches are never done learning, and be open to sharing and learning from others across our sport and other sports. Be open to discussion, challenge and change.

*****

Concluding Observations

Brad has never hesitated to take on roles to help the growth and development of lacrosse in Ontario, across Canada and internationally.  His years of serving various lacrosse teams and leagues has been both long-term and significant.  He is well known for his professional attitude and willingness to help in any way he can.  He has made a significant impact with every organization he has been involved with.  Brad has been a positive influence on the development of literally hundreds of lacrosse players at the minor, amateur and professional levels of lacrosse.  Brad truly exemplifies a genuine love for lacrosse - for competition, for commitment to the game, to his lacrosse players and colleagues.  He is a person with a 100% dedication to lacrosse and the growth of our game.

*****


Player Statistics – OLA/Alberta/WLA Career

                         REGULAR SEASON                        PLAYOFFS

                         --------------                        --------

YEAR     TEAM     LEAGUE       GP  GO   ASS   PTS  PIM  -  GP GO ASS PTS PIM

    ---- ------------ ------     --  --  ---  ---  ---  -  -- -- --- --- ---

1992 SARNIA       JUNIOR A    19   7   15   22   21  -             5  1   2   3   8

1993 SARN-WHITBY  JUNIOR A   20   5   18   23   36  -       5  4   6  10   4

1994 WHITBY       JUNIOR A   26  31   28   59   70  -           6  0   6   6   6

1995 WHITBY       JUNIOR A   19   9   18   27   51  -         10 11  12  23   2

1996 WHITBY       JUNIOR A     3   4      3    7     2  -             3  1    2     3   7

1996 OSHAWA       JUNIOR B & 12  24   24   48   38  -    10 20  15  35  24

1996 BROOKLIN     MAJOR          DID NOT PLAY       -       1  0   0   0   0

1997 NORTH SHORE  WLA SR A   16  13   10   23   31  -  10  3   3   6  24

1998 BROOKLIN     MAJOR        18  13   22   35   26  -        5  3   2   5   6

1999 NORTH SHORE  WLA SR A  18   9   12   21   32  -      4  2   3   5   6

2000 BROOKLIN     MAJOR       17  14       18   32    8  -   15 12  15  27  13

2001 BROOKLIN     MAJOR       15  16   17   33   10  -     10   3  10  13  13

2002 BROOKLIN     MAJOR      14   7    8   15    6  -            8   0    3    3  12

2003 OKOTOKS      RMLL SRB & 12  14   23   37   36  -  STATS UNAVAILABLE

2004 OKOTOKS      RMLL SRB &  6   8   12   20    4  -  STATS UNAVAILABLE

2005 BROOKLIN     MAJOR       4   1    2    3    4  -     DID NOT PLAY

2005 BARRIE       MAJOR          7   0    1    1     4  -          9  0   4   4   9

2006 BARRIE       MAJOR      16     0    6    6    9  -           9  1   4   5  17

2007 BARRIE       MAJOR      17     4    6   10   10  -        4  0   0   0  10

2009 BROOKLIN     SENIOR B    4   3    3    6    2  -            DID NOT PLAY

    ---- ------------ ---------- -- ---  ---  ---  ---  -  -- -- --- ---

  PRO/MAJOR/SENIOR TOTALS   142  77  102  179  140  -  75  24  44  68 110

          JUNIOR A TOTALS                  87  56   82  138  180  -   29  17  28  45  27

          SENIOR B TOTALS                  22  25   38   63   42  -         0  0   0   0   0

*1996 - STATISTICS ACCUMULATED IN O.L.A. JUNIOR B WITH OSHAWA GREEN GAELS NOT INCLUDED IN FINAL TOTALS

**2000 - MEMBER OF CANADIAN MANN CUP WINNING BROOKLIN REDMEN TEAM


Player Statistics – NLL Career

Brad played seven seasons in the National Lacrosse League where he was considered one of the top face-off men in the league.  He was known for his defensive abilities but was capable of scoring goals. Drafted 1st round 5th overall in the 1999 NLL draft by the Rochester Knighthawks

 

 

Regular Season 

 

Playoffs 

Season

Team

GP

G

A

Pts

LB

PIM

GP

G

A

Pts

LB

PIM 

1999

Rochester

11

1

8

9

48

30

--

--

--

--

--

--

2000

Rochester

11

3

2

5

34

22

2

1

3

4

8

2

2001

Rochester

14

12

6

18

61

38

1

0

0

0

2

0

2002

Montreal

12

2

9

11

41

32

--

--

--

--

--

--

2003

Calgary

15

3

7

10

51

8

1

0

0

0

3

0

2004

Calgary

15

1

5

6

27

8

3

1

1

2

13

2

2007

Toronto

14

0

0

0

51

15

1

0

0

0

1

4

NLL Totals

92

22

37

59

313

153

8

2

4

6

27

Member of NLL Champion Calgary Roughnecks in 2004

Rochester Knighthawks NLL finalists in 1999 & 2000

Player - NCAA Career

St. Andrews College, Laurinburg, North Carolina, USA

  • Member of inaugural collegiate team in 1995 that went 11-1 and won conference
  • 1997 Deep South Conference Player of the year
  • 1997 & 1998 Deep South First Team All-Conference
  • 1997 & 1998 NCAA All-American
  • 1998 NCAA Scholar All-American