Paul Deon, who had exceptional success as the Stonington boys lacrosse coach, has been named the new boys lacrosse coach at Hand.
Deon takes over for Jeff Lombardo who stepped down to take the boys lacrosse head coaching position at Avon where he teaches English.
Deon spent four years as the Bears coach where he compiled a 62-21 overall record, including 30-2 in the Eastern Connecticut Conference Small Division. The Bears advanced as far as the CIAC Class S semifinals three times (2010, 2011, 2013) in the last four years. They also won three ECC Small Division championships.
“I didn’t see myself leaving this soon,” Deon told the Norwich Bulletin. “The thought really hadn’t entered my mind. But positions at schools like Hand and some of the other premier schools in the state don’t present themselves very often.”
Lombardo left Hand after six seasons and had a 63-54 record. Lombardo led Hand to the CIAC playoffs all six years, advancing to the Class M semis in 2008. Lombardo’s Tigers also advanced to six Southern Connecticut Conference semifinals and one final. He was named CIAC Class M Coach of the Year in 2011.
Deon becomes the sixth new coach in recent months appointed to high school boys lacrosse teams statewide. In addition to Deon and Lombardo, Steve Anderson is the new coach at Lyman Hall and took over for Gary Velardi, Terry Stroz replaced Jeff Seymour at Masuk, A.J. Alessi replaced Rob Bajoros at Notre Dame-West Haven and Mike Murphy replaced John Flower at Old Lyme.
In related news, according to George Baldassare, director of boys lacrosse for Laxpower.com, Montville has started a boys lacrosse team for the 2014 season and Brandon Cholewa has been named the coach.