New lax coach hired at Shoreham-Wading River

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01/07/2014 10:37 PM |
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | The Shoreham-Wading River school board appointed during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | The Shoreham-Wading River school board appointed Justin Arini as the boys varsity lacrosse coach during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The Shoreham-Wading River school board has hired a replacement for ousted boys varsity lacrosse coach Tom Rotanz, the Riverhead News-Review has learned.

Justin Arini — who works as a guidance counselor in the high school, according to his Facebook page — will replace Mr. Rotanz for the upcoming spring season.

Four out of the seven school board members voted in favor of Mr. Arini’s appointment Tuesday night. School board vice president John Zukowski abstained from voting and said after the meeting he did so because his son plays lacrosse. Sean Beran was absent and Robert Rose voted against the appointment.

“My nay vote has nothing at all to do with the candidate,” Mr. Rose said shortly after the vote. “It has everything to do with the process.”

Mr. Rose declined to elaborate after the meeting what his issue was with the process.

Mr. Arini, 28, is a Ward Melville graduate who played lacrosse under legendary coach Joe Cuozzo, just as Mr. Rotanz did years earlier. He’s coached previously as an assistant at NYIT and Manhattan College. At both schools he focused on coaching offense and recruiting. He coached most recently as a varsity assistant at Huntington High School last spring, according to a news report.

Mr. Arini was a goalkeeper in college at Alfred State. He’ll take over a program that Mr. Rotanz led for 19 years before his sudden dismissal in November.

The Wildcats are two-time defending Long Island champions and the preseason No. 1 seed in Division II for the upcoming spring season.

WITH JOE WERKMEISTER

jennifer@timesreview.com