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New London - Gary Weller, head men's lacrosse coach at the Coast Guard Academy for the past three seasons at the club level, stepped down Wednesday. Ray LaForte, who served as the associate coach of the program for the past two seasons, will take over as the head coach as it begins its first varsity season.
Last season, the team won the Pioneer Collegiate Lacrosse League (PCLL) for the first time in 30 club seasons.
"This has been the best three years I have ever had coaching. I had incredible support from Admiral Stosz, the athletic department, the alumni and students," Weller said in a press release. "It all led to national prominence and we did it. The big goal was to push this program to Division III and we are there."
Weller led the Bears to a record of 42-15. A Hofstra graduate who played at the Division I level for the Flying Dutchmen, Well coached at Mitchell College and Ledyard High School prior to his stint at Coast Guard. At Ledyard, Weller's teams were 64-35 and he earned Connecticut High School Lacrosse Coach of the Year honors in 2005.
Weller a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving both the 173rd Airborne Division and the 25th Infantry Division, where he was awarded the Purple Heart, Medal of Valor and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.
"Due to Gary's perseverance, insight, forward thinking and personal character, moving men's lacrosse from club to varsity status this year became a reality," Coast Guard athletic director Tim Fitzpatrick said.
New York-Penn League
• Mike Meyers hit the game-winning RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as the Lowell Spinners rallied to down the Connecticut Tigers 5-4 in a game played before 5,301 fans at Edward A. LeLacheur Park.
Mauricio Dubon and Jordan Betts hit back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom of the ninth and Dubron scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
Michael Gerber had a double, triple, three RBI and scored for the Tigers (34-30). Also, Joey Pankake had two hits and two runs.