The Georgia Swarm today announced the hiring of assistant coach Blane Harrison to direct the team’s offense for the 2016 NLL season. The Swarm also re-signed forward Marcus Holmanto a one-year contract.
“The Swarm has been a stellar organization for a long time, and with the move to Georgia along with the foresight to get the picks set in this year’s draft, this really is the cusp of a new age and a very exciting time. I’m really honored and privileged to be a part of it,” Harrison said.
Harrison, 57, spent the past two seasons as a head coach in the NLL with the New England Black Wolves (2015) and Philadelphia Wings (2014). He also has eight years of experience as an assistant coach in the league with the Wings, New York/Orlando Titans and the Detroit Turbos. During his time with the Titans from 2008-10, the Whitby, Ontario native worked alongside Swarm coaches Ed Comeau and Sean Ferris. As a player, Harrison won a MILL Championship with the Turbos in 1990, two Mann Cups with the Brooklin Redmen (1987-88) and played collegiately at Michigan State University.
“I was able to work with Blane for a couple of years in New York and Orlando and I really enjoyed his coaching style,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said. “After that, he coached the offensive units for the Black Wolves and Wings before becoming a head coach in the NLL. We’re really excited to have Blane onboard and we’re going to use his knowledge and experience to help us coach the entire team, not just the offense.”
“We had very good success with New York and Orlando,” added Harrison in regards to his past experience with Comeau and Ferris. “I like the way they think the game. We’re very simpatico, we’re not afraid to disagree, but at the end of the day we know we’re going in the right direction and when it’s time to make a decision we all support each other.”
With the additions of forwards Lyle Thompson (No. 1 overall), Jesse King (No. 3 overall) and Randy Staats (No. 6 overall), the Swarm’s offense received a big boost on Monday night during the NLL Draft. The amount of talent on offense has Harrison looking forward to 2016: “I have to be the luckiest guy in lacrosse right now because there is a lot of firepower.”
Another young player Harrison will get to work with at training camp is right-handed forward Marcus Holman who re-signed to a one-year deal with the Swarm. The University of North Carolina product spent last season on the Swarm’s practice squad and is quickly developing as a box lacrosse player. In September, Holman was a member of the U.S. Men’s National Indoor team that earned a Bronze Medal at the 2015 WILC’s; the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder finished with 14 points (7G, 7A) in seven games.
“Having coached against Marcus during the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, we can see that his game is really evolving, and he’s working hard to take it to the next level,” Comeau said. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to have him back and compete for a roster spot.”
Holman, 24, was a standout attackman at the University of North Carolina from 2010-13, where he finished his career with 133 points (84g, 49a). In the summertime, he plays for the Ohio Machine and is one of the MLL’s top scorers.