Gerry Horning has stepped down as the Centaurus girls lacrosse coach, but not before she helped transform a fledgling program into one of the state’s most consistent powerhouses.
The Warriors have been in the final four in each of the past four seasons, including the program’s lone appearance in the state championship game in 2013. But the time constraints were becoming too much for Horning.
“I’m a mom first,” she said.
Horning has children ages 9 and 7, and wants to spend as much time as possible with them. So after eight years as the head coach and 10 overall with Boulder County’s only girls program, Horning is giving someone else a turn.
“For me it’s just time,” she said. “Those after-school hours, I really want to be with my kids. I’ve always known when it got to the point where my kids needed me more, that I’d step aside to spend more time with them.”
Horning helped produce an All-American in Emma Lazaroff, who led the nation with 143 goals in 2012. Lazaroff is now at Duke and 2014 graduate Sarah Brown is now at the University of Colorado, two of the most prominent of the ever-growing list of college players to ascend from the program.
Horning admits she’ll miss it and plans to attend a handful of Warriors games. She also will accompany Lazaroff’s dad, Peter, to the Duke-Virginia game in the spring.
Horning never was one to shower herself with credit, always quick to pass it on to the players and her staff. But she appreciated the run, which included a 57-14 mark over the past four seasons.
“It’s been really nice to have been a part of something that has grown and has improved steadily every year,” she said. “I really enjoyed it. I’ll always deflect credit to the girls because they’re the ones who made it what it is.”
Horning said she wouldn’t rule out coaching in the future, depending where she’s at in life when the time commitments ease off. Horning’s husband, Andy, is a former five-year boys basketball coach at Centaurus, who stepped aside after the 2011-12 season for similar reasons.
Centaurus athletic director Rich Affleck, meanwhile, declared that the Warriors are starting their search for a new coach.
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