Morrisburg Junior B Lions head coach Thom Raccine has announced that he will not be returning to the bench this season.
Raccine has been on the bench for three seasons. He started as assistant coach to March Bissonnette in the 2009-2010 season.
When Bissonnette resigned his position in November of the next season, Raccine agreed to take over as head coach.
That decision resulted in several weeks of the most gratifying coaching experience, the Cornwall resident, says he could have hoped to experience. “We never gave up, we believed in ourselves and that is the part that makes you feel proud.”
He is of course speaking of the comeback the team made from January on, to turn the season around and earn a spot in the St. Lawrence Division playoffs.
That was followed by a very disappointing 2011-12 season, which finished with the Lions in the division’s fifth place with just 27 points.
Raccine says he is walking away with some great memories and is happy with the support and cooperation he received from the Lions team management.
Raccine played his junior hockey with the Metcalfe Jets during the mid-70s era when the Morrisburg Lions were on top of theleague. Until he came to the Lions three seasons ago, he had never coached hockey.
“It goes without saying, it was a life long dream, and I have to thank the Lions for the opportunity,” which allowed him not only to coach but to coach a team on which his son played. “I have to thank Ron (Casselman), Kevin (Casselman) Jack (Bjergso) and Dale (Lewis). They did everything they could to make it an easy task. They were always very good and up front with me.”
“For me it’s not selling the farm. I tried it and I believe there were parts that were very rewarding. I have some wonderful memories.”
Raccine is very busy with his career in law enforcement in Cornwall, as a published writer, and a news paper sports columnist.
“My wife Karen and I have given up our winter weekends for three years and it’s gotten to the point where it is enough.”
Raccine says he is extremely interested in getting into the research for his second book.
“It was hard at time, but it was fun. And I got to spend some time with my son. I have some really good memories.”