Re-Retired

hung-up-whistleFor the past year or so I have had the pleasure of coaching my oldest son’s high school lacrosse team. I came back because the head coach needed a few more hands on deck, breaking a six-year retirement.

I am now re-retired.

The team’s head coach – who, at 32 years old forgot more about lacrosse than I ever knew – accepted a job at one of New Jersey’s best lacrosse high schools. The position comes with more money, better facilities, a supportive administration, and players who really want to play the game.

Sadly, much of that is missing on my son’s team.

The head coach was making peanuts – I think, literally – and I was not being paid at all. I was strictly on a volunteer basis. The facilities at Kyle’s school are decent, but they cannot compare with the Jersey school. The administration at Kyle’s school despises lacrosse, and we were offered little of no support. Finally, the upperclassmen on Kyle’s team were a mix of good and godawful. Kyle’s class is very dedicated, but many of the older kids are there only to receive a jersey.

So the head coach did what any sane person would do; he accepted the job at the powerhouse school. He called me personally to let me know, then apologized to me and Kyle. I feel badly for Kyle and the kids who wanted to be there, because his head coach was brilliant. Now I worry the school will hire someone on the cheap, or worse, someone who does not know – or love – the game.

In the meantime, I’ll be sitting in the stands from here on out. I’ll miss coaching, but at least I officially have twenty years of coaching on the books.

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3 thoughts on “Re-Retired

  1. Bummer. I know what a huge impact good coaches have, especially at that level – both of my kids have benefitted tremendously from outstanding coaches in grade school (CYO) and high school. Neither will ever be a pro or even a seriously competitive amateur athlete, but they’ve both absorbed critical life lessons in discipline, hard work, teamwork, sportsmanship, and overcoming adversity and failure, along with what I hope will be a lifelong interest in staying physically fit and active. I also know what an enormous time suck coaching can be (especially if you’re doing it on a volunteer basis), so kudos to you for helping your son and his team. Sorry to hear the school administration doesn’t support the LAX program – what’s up with that? Do they just have a hard-on for lacrosse or do they hate all sports?

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  2. Jim – It’s mostly lacrosse, but football is king, even though that team has not been successful for years. Last year we had 40 kids on the roster, and we get the second-best turnout of any sport there. There is a new A.D. at the school this year, and suffice to say, he is not a lacrosse fan.

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