BOSTON, Mass.– Major League Lacrosse, the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, announced Wednesday that Long Island Lizards Coach Joe Spallina has been named as the 2012 Brine MLL Coach of the Year, according to MLL Commissioner David Gross. The award was based on the votes submitted by the head coaches and general manager of each of the League’s eight teams.
"It’s a tremendous honor. This is the highest level of the sport that we all love, so I’m tremendously humbled. Our team dealt with a different kind of hand and dealt with adversity and guys deciding not to play or being injured, but that's a tribute to the character of guys we have who share the same vision that I had of restructuring and getting to the top level," said Spallina.
“We have a good group and the right mix of veterans and a very young team. A large part of our success has to do with rookies hitting the ground running and the way our veterans welcomed those guys in and made them feel part of it."
In his first season as the Lizards’ leader, Spallina led the Lizards to an 8-6 record and the fourth seed in the 2012 MLL Championship Weekend presented by Warrior. After opening the season with back-to-back losses, the Lizards recovered to win five straight games, including four victories away from James M. Shuart Stadium.
With Spallina at the helm, the Lizards led the MLL by allowing just eight two-point goals while ranking fourth in the MLL by scoring 165 goals.
The Lizards also had two of the top-scoring rookies in the MLL this season. While attackman Matt Gibson led all rookies with 31 points, rookie attackman Tommy Palasek led all MLL rookies with 22 goals and ranked fifth on the team with 27 points.
Spallina, who took over for long-time Coach Jim Mulé, joined the Lizards after a four-year stint as the head women’s lacrosse coach at Adelphi University. He posted a 73-2 record with Adelphi and guided the Panthers to three consecutive NCAA Division II championships.
“Like Brine, Coach Spallina blends innovation with hard work, integrity, leadership and teamwork to create a leading lacrosse product,” said Dave Dixon, Brine Chief Marketing Officer. “Brine congratulates Coach Spallina and the Long Island Lizards on an outstanding season and wishes them the best of luck in the playoffs.”
The MLL Championship Weekend presented by Warrior will be held on August 25 and 26 at Harvard Stadium. The top-seeded Denver Outlaws will face the fourth-seeded Long Island Lizards in the first semi-final at 1 p.m. before the second-seeded Chesapeake Bayhawks will play against the defending MLL champion Boston Cannons, who earned the third seed, in the second semi-final at approximately 4 p.m.
The two semi-final winners will play in the championship game on Sunday, August 26 at 3 p.m. Tickets for the 2012 MLL Championship Weekend are available through Ticketmaster or by clicking here.
Headquartered in Warren, Michigan, Brine was established in 1922. Brine has spent almost a century supporting players in their athletic pursuit of game improvement products and programs. Recognized for innovation of the Offset™ lacrosse stick and the original round bladder soccer ball, Brine was acquired by New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. in August, 2006. Brine is a recognized industry leader in lacrosse and field hockey. For more information about Brine, please visit www.brine.com.
About Major League Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, was founded by Jake Steinfeld and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Major League Lacrosse commenced play in June of 2001 and will enter its 13th season in 2013. MLL has continued to lead the sport of lacrosse into the mainstream of competitive team sports. The league is made up of eight teams: The Boston Cannons, Charlotte Hounds, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Denver Outlaws, Hamilton Nationals, Long Island Lizards, Ohio Machine and Rochester Rattlers.
The 2013 MLL Collegiate Draft will take place on January 11, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pa. The 2013 season will commence on April 27, 2013. More information about the league can be found at www.majorleaguelacrosse.com, Facebook or Twitter.
Eric Rhew (410)-530-4791
Aly Morrissey (617) 787-6634