For 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.