By Sam Laskaris

The Brooklin Lacrosse Club continues to revamp its bench staff.  Change began a few days ago when Brad MacArthur announced he was stepping down from being the head coach of the Major Series Lacrosse club. MacArthur, however, will continue to serve as Brooklin’s general manager. And he’ll also continue his role of being the GM for Brooklin’s Ontario Series Lacrosse affiliate, the Oshawa-based Merchants Lacrosse Club, a Senior B squad.

When MacArthur resigned as Brooklin coach it was announced that Jason Crosbie, who had worked as the team’s assistant coach the past couple of seasons, would move up and take over the head coaching duties. And now club officials are revealing they have brought in Gavin Prout, a former star player with the organization, to be an assistant coach and run the team’s offence.  Prout, who played 11 seasons of pro in the National Lacrosse League with various franchises, has known Crosbie for quite some time, as he played with and against him.

“I have never really worked with him,” Prout said of Crosbie. “But I have faith we’ll work things out.”  Brooklin’s first practice of 2022 is scheduled for May 18. And the club will begin its regular season campaign shortly thereafter. Brooklin’s season opener is scheduled for May 23, on the road versus the Six Nations Chiefs.Prout realizes the Brooklin team has some lofty expectations for this coming season. Last summer the squad posted an impressive 7-1 in an MSL tournament that because of the pandemic was held in lieu of a regular season campaign.“They do have so much depth,” Prout said. “They have a lot of local talent and talent that wants to come here to play.”

Prout is also rather familiar with Brooklin’s other assistant coach, Derek Suddons, an individual he grew up playing with. Suddons will primarily be responsible for handling the club’s defence. MacArthur is pleased he was able to bring Prout, who was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2020, into the Brooklin organization. “Gavin is a quality coach who will be a strong addition to our bench,” he said. “He’s a Hall of Famer, Brooklin alumni, and a champion at every level. He’s intense and competitive with a drive to succeed.” Prout will continue to serve as the head coach for the Whitby Steelhawks, members of the Arena Lacrosse League, who play a winter and early spring schedule.MacArthur and Prout were co-coaches of the Steelhawks when they captured the ALL title in 2018. “I had the chance to coach with Gavin and see him grow as a coach,” MacArthur said. “He’s someone our young players can learn quite a bit from. It’s not every day someone with Gavin’s resume becomes available.

MacArthur left his head coaching gig with the Brooklin in part because he’s got additional responsibilities now. Earlier this year he accepted the head coaching job with the Florida Tech Panthers, an NCAA Division II men's field lacrosse team.  

“I’m stepping back because of my time commitments but also the fact that Croz was able to take over and we were able to add Gavin,” MacArthur said.Plus, MacArthur doesn’t believe it’s fair to continue in a role that he cannot devote 100 per cent of his time to.“ Trying to continue with a half-in effort would be unfair to everyone involved and those that built this franchise,” he said. Brooklin’s home opener is set for June 1 against Six Nations. This contest, which has a scheduled opening faceoff of 8 p.m., will be held at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby.