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Christine Corrigan

Bears’ lax coach leaving

STONINGTON — Stonington High will be searching for a new boys’ lacrosse coach as Paul Deon will be leaving to become head coach at Daniel Hand High.

Deon coached four years for the Bears reaching the Class S semifinals three times and winning three ECC Small Division championships. The Bears have won 25 straight ECC-Small games over the past four seasons.

“It was a pleasure being a part of the Stonington community and coaching the program,” Deon said. “There are great, great kids from the Stonington school district and I wish them the best of luck.

“The parents were superb. It was easy to coach there and very difficult to leave.”

Deon said the opportunity to coach at Hand was not one he could pass on.

“Daniel Hand was one of the first programs in the state of Connecticut. It is in a larger division (Class M) and they play a very, very difficult and challenging schedule. Fairfield Prep, which is nationally ranked, is on their schedule.

“The opportunity presented itself and I saw it as an opportunity to challenge myself as a coach and one to broaden myself as a coach.”

Deon leaves Stonington with a 62-21 record (74.3 winning percentage) with a 30-2 mark in the ECC-Small during his four years.

Last season Stonington’s Mitchell Kezer became the first player in ECC history to earn All-America honors. The Bears also placed six players on the Class S All-State team. Three were first team and three were second team.

“Nothing is done alone. The youth program is doing a great job and the kids believed,” Deon said. “I think the program is in a great place. We have a new turf field and the program is fully funded. There is a lot of talent there and the kids are of good character and strong will. If these kids continue on the same path they will be successful there.”

Stonington athletic diretory Bryan Morrone said the vacancy will be posted soon and that he hopes to have a new coach in place as soon as possible.

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