Former SWR lacrosse coach lands at Smithtown West

02/20/2014 1:00 PM |
BILL LANDON FILE PHOTO  |  Former Shoreham-Wading River boys lacrosse coach Tom Rotanz speaks with a reporter in 2012.

Former Shoreham-Wading River boys lacrosse coach Tom Rotanz speaks with a reporter in 2012. (Bill Landon file photo)

Former Shoreham-Wading River boys lacrosse coach Tom Rotanz was hired as an assistant coach at Smithtown West for the upcoming season after spending the previous 19 years leading the Wildcats.

Shoreham superintendent Steven Cohen opted to not recommend Rotanz as coach for this season, a move that sparked a heated backlash from members of the Shoreham lacrosse community in November. Rotanz had guided the Wildcats to a state championship in 2012 and Long Island championship last season.

Rotanz was officially approved for the assistant coach position at Smithtown last week, according to minutes from the Board of Education meeting.

Bob Moltisanti Jr. is the head coach at Smithtown West. The Bulls were one of the top teams in the county last year, posting a 16-3 record and advancing into the Class A county championship where they lost to Ward Melville.

Shoreham hired Justin Arini, a former Ward Melville lacrosse player who most recently coached as an assistant at Huntington, to replace Rotanz. Arini was hired as a guidance counselor at Shoreham, effective Dec. 19, according to Board of Education minutes.

Spring practices for varsity sports begin March 3.

Rotanz took over the Shoreham lacrosse program in its second year. In that time he led the Wildcats to 10 county championships, five L.I. titles and three state titles.

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joew@timesreview.com