Clem D'Orazio wasn't out of Major Series Lacrosse for long. The young coach, who was replaced by the Rock when the team moved from Ajax to Oakville, has been hired as the new head coach of the Brampton Excelsiors after a search conducted by team governors Zenny Lipinski and Ziggy Musial, Assistant GM Steve McCullough and departing coach Mike Hasen.
D'Orazio inherits a lineup that retains the core of the defensive unit that has helped to keep the Excelsiors competitive over the last couple of years while the offence has undergone some transition. “I'm not going to try to reinvent the wheel,” D'Orazio says. “Mike Hasen is a great coach and I've got guys like Sandy Chapman who could pretty much run the defence on their own. I'm going to go in and keep things moving and hopefully correct issues as necessary as we go.”
D'Orazio says that he made sure the majority of the team was returning before he accepted the position, so he's looking forward to working with players like back-to-back NLL Defensive Player of the Year Kyle Rubisch, with whom he had the chance to play in junior. He's also confident that the offence will be a force even without the likes of Josh Sanderson and Blaine Manning, who have decided not to continue in summer lacrosse for now.
“We've still got Dan Dawson, who like Chappy could pretty much run things himself. We'll have Joe Walters and Joe Resetarits, Mike Hominuk, Kevin Ross.” The return of Ross after taking a year off last year will be a huge addition to the left side of the O.
“I'm excited to work with some of the best players in the game,” D'Orazio said. “Our goal is simple. We want to go out and continue to play good lacrosse and win a Mann Cup.”
D'Orazio's assistant coaches are not yet in place but will be announced shortly. Brampton will get a good test right off the hop. They open the 2013 MSL season May 23 on the road in Peterborough to face the defending Mann Cup champion Lakers in a game that can be seen via live webcast.