Elizabethtown Area High School will be looking for a new girls lacrosse coach after Mat Ealy announced his resignation.
Ealy, who was an IT manager at Kinsey Archery, said that he accepted a similar position with a larger company that he did not specifically name. He added that he does not currently plan to relocate and the added time commitment to his new position would not allow him to dedicate the proper time to the girls lacrosse team.
“The time commitment during the season is a lot. What goes unnoticed is the commitment during the offseason. There is 10-12 hours that you’re doing something. Open gyms, weight rooms, studying the game, staying up on the rules, watching film from last season for your team, watching film from last season for other teams. It’s not fair to them to have a coach that wasn’t committing that time to them,” Ealy said.
“It was just one of those things that, with the workload of the new job, I couldn’t mow my lawn or go to the grocery store.”
Ealy, who made his announcement via Twitter on Thursday, Aug. 24, spent the previous two years as the girls coach and one additional year as an assistant. In his two years leading the program, the team went 17-18, including 10-7 last season. The previous two years, the team went 22-12.
“I loved working with the girls. I got to talk to one of my girls at Temple and knowing that I made an impact to the point where a college freshman is wanting to talk to me about new experiences is rewarding to me,” Ealy said.
Ealy said that he wanted to spend time over the summer to contemplate whether or not he wanted to come back and coach the team in the spring.
“At the end of the season I was seriously contemplating it. I was deciding what to do because, even without this new job offer, I didn’t know if I wanted to come back or not. The offer was a sign almost, like OK, this offer was too good,” Ealy said.
Before resigning, Ealy made sure that Ron Quinto would continue to be involved with the team.
“I was lucky enough to have Ron as an assistant coach. He knows lacrosse. He came from the boys side to get the goalies caught up. He was able to bring his knowledge of the boys game and meld it with my knowledge of the girls game. He is upbeat and supportive. I got really lucky there,” Ealy said.
He was also complimentary of Elizabethtown’s athletic director, Linda Ahern, saying that she was a great boss and support person for the coaching staff.
Jackie Hoover, who is an assistant lacrosse coach at Gordon College, also received praise from Ealy.
“Jackie gave me a lot of insight, tutelage and guidance working with girls. That was greatly appreciated,” Ealy said.
The Donegal graduate said that he and the athletic department had some brief conversations about who would become the next coach, but nothing materialized.
“I really wish there were more people back in the area. The girls game is growing and it is hard to find knowledgeable coaches. So many college programs are popping up. At the college level, it is a very easy way to hit your Title IX number. It’s the same field as soccer. You just need to buy some goals. It’s not an expensive level of entry,” Ealy said.
“Maybe after a few years in my new job I’ll get back to coaching. Now I’m focused on getting my daughter off to college.”