Uganda Announces Coaching Staff for 2018 FIL World Championship


Ronald Otim, one of Uganda's top players, advances the ball up the field during a game against Bermuda at the 2014 FIL World Championship in Denver. Four years after making its debut, Uganda will return to the world stage in Israel next summer.

The Uganda lacrosse movement is alive and well.

Four years after debuting as the first African nation to compete in a world lacrosse championship, the Ugandan national team is preparing to continue its momentum next summer in Israel. The Uganda Lacrosse Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization managing international play, announced an all-star coaching staff Tuesday.

Claremont College’s Pete Ginnegar, who has coached at various levels of college lacrosse for 34 seasons, will be the head coach. John Christmas, the former Virginia All-American attackman and current De La Salle (Calif.) coach, Francis Donald, the former Nazareth All-American long pole and current Bishop’s School (Calif.) coach, and Mike Allan, a two-time MCLA championship-winning coach at UC Santa Barbara, will be assistant coaches. Ivan Cohen will coach the goalies.

“When it comes to coaching, Uganda will have some of the best teachers that our game has to offer,” ULF general manager Matt Holman said in a press release. “From Coach Ginnegar all the way down our assistant coaching staff, we have a loaded group of volunteers ready to lead the Cranes to the world games.”

The ULF recently launched a fundraising campaign to cover the expenses of sending a team to the 2018 FIL World Championship in Netanya, Israel.

Holman, director of the MCLA National Championships, president of the Southwest Lacrosse Conference and founder of the East Meets West Lacrosse foundation, was hired by the Uganda Lacrosse Association as national teams manager in June.

Uganda drew worldwide attention in 2014 when it sent 23 players — many of whom came from backgrounds of poverty and violence in the once war-torn country — to the FIL World Championship hosted by US Lacrosse in Denver. The Cranes came away with wins over Korea and Argentina and were featured on the cover of the September 2014 edition of Lacrosse Magazine.

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