Max Perren does a great job coaching Upper Canada College’s varsity lacrosse team, but the additional work he does for the Toronto Beaches Lacrosse Club (TBLC) has earned him the Bobby Allen Award as Ontario field lacrosse coach of the year by the Ontario Lacrosse Association.
The honour goes to the coach “whose unselfish motivations are demonstrated by the dedication of their efforts by teaching and promoting the game of Field Lacrosse as well as sportsmanship.”
Perren coaches his son Quinn (a Year 1 student at UCC) on the TBLC’s U15 team, while his younger son Oscar (who’s in Form 5 at UCC) plays on the U13 team. Other UCC boys play on both teams.
“Winning the Ontario Lacrosse Association coach of the year is a great honour,” says Perren. “Lacrosse has been a big part of my life since I was a teenager.
“There is a real sense of community being on a team and travelling across Ontario each weekend to play. The award means a great deal because the lacrosse community gave it to me.”
Perren was the captain of the Kenyon College lacrosse team in his senior year and started at UCC in 1998. He teaches English and history at the Prep and has coached soccer and hockey at the College as well as lacrosse. He started the school’s U14 lacrosse team in 2001.
“Interestingly, I got my start in the Beaches in 1998 when Don Kohara — the parent of Old Boys Tanner ’99 and Torey ’05 — asked me to coach a U19 team,” says Perren. “I coached both Tanner and Torey at UCC as the U14 and varsity coach.”
Perren was named the TBLC’s coach of the year in 2014 and president Frank Hamm and vice-president Jennifer Price wrote this about him in their letter of nomination for the Bobby Allen Award:
“Coaches and parents are continually impressed with Max’s level of expertise, commitment and passion for the game of lacrosse. Max demonstrates a tremendous amount of patience on the bench; helping players move from x to y but also helping parents understand the game of lacrosse. His primary focus is to compete to the best of your ability but always respect the game, officials, opponents and self.
“Max embodies this concept of field lacrosse as a ‘gentleman’s’ sport. Those who have spent time on the bench with Max (myself included) understand that there is no yelling, not at the players, referees or other teams. At all times Max conducts himself with dignity and integrity. He is able to coach all levels of players and bring out the best in all. Max believes in fair play and the players and parents understand that if kids come to practice and work hard they will have ample opportunity on the playing field and a greater lacrosse IQ at the end of the season — he consistently delivers on this message. He teaches life lessons through a sport he is passionate about.
“At the same time he has the competitive streak and has guided his teams to several big wins including two U-13 provincial gold medals in the fall program.”