Brooklin Lacrosse Club To Announce New Bench Staff

By Sam Laskaris

A fixture in the Durham Region lacrosse community is calling it quits on his spring/summer coaching duties.
As a result, the Brooklin Lacrosse Club, which competes in the Major Series Lacrosse (MSL), has announced that Derek Keenan will not be returning as its head coach for the 2019 season.

Keenan had been a member of the coaching staff for the Brooklin Lacrosse Club (formerly Redmen) since 2016. He was previously a star player for the organization, helping the franchise win three national Mann Cup championships in the 1980s.

Keenan, an Oshawa native who recently moved to Whitby, also coached locally with the Whitby Warriors’ Junior A team for eight years. He guided the Warriors to a pair of Minto Cup titles – awarded annually to the national Junior A champs – in 2011 and ’13.

“It’s time for me to move on,” Keenan said. “I’ve been in summer lacrosse (playing, coaching or at times refereeing) since I was five.”

Keenan, 58, expects he’ll spend a good chunk of his spring and summer months boating.

“I assume I’ll be on the water a lot this summer,” he said.

Keenan, however, is not completely giving up lacrosse. He’s also the head coach/general manager of the Saskatchewan Rush, which competes in the National Lacrosse League, the pro circuit whose schedule annually begins in December and continues until May.

Meanwhile, Brooklin will commence its MSL season in early June.

“The NLL season is so long now,” Keenan said. “There’s no time to relax.”

Keenan and the Rush saw their 2019 campaign come to an end this past week.

Saskatchewan had finished atop the NLL’s West Division standings this season with a record of 11-7. But the Rush was upset 11-10 in overtime by the Colorado Mammoth in its divisional semi-final contest this past Friday.

Keenan has had more than his share of success in the NLL, as a player and as a coach/GM. He’s won nine championship titles in the league, more than any other individual.
For starters, he won a pair of titles when he was playing for the Buffalo Bandits. He then was a part of four championship teams with the Toronto Rock.

His first title he was a player/coach with the Rock. He was then part of the Rock coaching staff for his three other triumphs in Toronto.

Keenan also served as the head coach/GM of the Edmonton Rush, which won the NLL crown in 2015. The club relocated to Saskatchewan for the following season. Keenan and the Saskatchewan Rush captured league championships in 2016 and ’18.

With Keenan’s retirement announcement from the MSL, officials with the Brooklin Lacrosse Club are now expected to announce their bench staff for the coming season soon.

Brooklin’s regular season commences on June 2 with a road contest against the Cobourg Kodiaks.