After four years of coaching the Palo Alto High School boys lacrosse team (15-6, 9-4), head coach Craig Conover will not return for the 2014 spring season, according to his post on the “Paly Varsity Lacrosse” Facebook page.
In the Facebook post, Conover revealed that the recent acceptance of a position at a small and fast-growing startup company in San Francisco made it too hard to balance his time between his family, day job and coaching position.
“I have been able to pull this commute off in the past, but my new role requires much more of my time, as does my family,” Conover said.
Conover is not doubting the team’s future nor the capabilities of his coming replacement.
“I believe that whoever my successor may be, he will be more able to commit the necessary resources to take you [the team] to that next level and beyond,” Conover said.
To the players, the loss of their head coach came as a surprise, but they also respect his decision to leave.
“I was pretty surprised to hear he was leaving,” senior defender James Harrison said. “I think he made the right decision to take the job opportunity, but he will definitely be missed.”
Senior defender Jordan Gans echoed his sentiment.
“It was very much a surprise,” Gans said. “He was extremely excited about lacrosse and devoted so I didn’t expect him to leave. That being said, I understand why he left and I think he made the right decision.”
Harrison says he will remember Conover for what he added to the team.
“He was a great coach, he brought lots of passion every day and taught us a lot,” Harrison said. “I think the fact that the team made it into the semifinals or better in the playoffs during his four years shows how he was able to make the team click.”
According to Gans, the team will certainly miss Conover but will also look forward to the future of the team.
“I think that because we are going to have a new coach everyone will start off as a new player and need to prove themselves at the start of the season,” Gans said. “Also I think it will bring the team together and my expectation is to win the league and I think we have the team to do that.”
Their main competition will be Sacred Heart Prep, according to Gans, which they lost to in the SCVAL semi-finals last season, 18-6. Tryouts will begin in January 2014 and the season begins in February.