By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 9/23/12
Tom Slate, who has a long resume of high school and pro coaching positions, has been named head boys’ lacrosse coach at Downingtown West.
Slate has served as head coach of two Major League Lacrosse teams (San Francisco Dragons and Denver Outlaws) and is about to begin his first season as head coach of the Reading Rockets of the first-year Professional lacrosse League. He also was an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Wings in 2011 and an assistant for the Philadelphia Barrage when it won MLL titles in 2006-07.
Slate is known most in the Philly scene as the first head coach at Downingtown East, where he guided to the Cougars to the state championship in 2007 and won six straight Ches-Mont League title while posting a 98-47 record in seven years.
At Downingtown West, he replaces Tommy Hannum – last year’s Phillylacrosse.com Coach of the Year after guiding the Whippets to an undefeated Ches-Mont League season (22-2 overall) and a spot in the District 1 semifinals and state quarterfinals.
“It’s kind of a different transition for me,” Slate said. “I came into Downingtown East when it was a brand new program. Here, Tommy (Hannum) and his coaches did such a great job. I am trying not to rock the boat; I am just trying to tweak it. I told the guys they have such a great foundation that’s been laid; I am trying just to fine tune it a little.”
Slate left his post at East two years ago because he was coaching in both the MLL (Outlaws) and National Lacrosse League (Wings).
“The school (West) is 30 seconds form my house and now that I am not so spread out by coaching the Denver Outlaws or the Wings it made sense to me,” Slate said. “It was an opportunity I really couldn’t pass. I always loved coaching high school.”
Slate, who also owns and operates Lacrosse Evolution and has coached at numerous camps and clinics, said his pro coaching experience provides him with a full perspective on teaching lacrosse.
“When you coach in the MLL you have the best seat in the house,” Slate said. “It’s like reading a good book every summer.
I am trying to take it back to these kids and work with them. I am big on fundamentals. The team with the best fundamentals wins the game if the talent is even.”
Slate, a graduate of Springfield-Delco, played seven years for the Wings from 1997-2003 and was once named the National Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year while helping the team win two championships, in 1998 and 2001.
As a player, Slate also led Springfield-Delco to the state championship in 1992 and then became the first person to win a PA state crown as both a player and a coach. Slate also played for the Baltimore Bayhawks and represented Team USA in the Heritage Cup at the World Indoor Lacrosse competition.
Tags: Downingtown West