Oberly steps down as Cocalico boys’ lax coach

By on June 7, 2017
Matt Oberly (in black) talks with his players during a time-out in their District Three playoff game vs. Trinity two weeks ago. Oberly, who was named L-L League Coach of the Year this season, has stepped down after five seasons as head boys’ lacrosse coach. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Matt Oberly (in black) talks with his players during a time-out in their District Three playoff game vs. Trinity two weeks ago. Oberly, who was named L-L League Coach of the Year this season, has stepped down after five seasons as head boys’ lacrosse coach. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Matt Oberly, who took the Cocalico boys’ lacrosse pro-gram from a dead-last finish in 2016 to a magical 2017 season that included a third-place regular season finish, as well as L-L League and District Three playoff berths, has resigned from his post.

The 2017 L-L League Coach of the Year, who guided the Eagles (12-9 this year) to their most successful sea-son ever, confirmed Tuesday that he will step away from the post he has held for five seasons to pursue a teaching job.“

”It basically all boils down to the pursuit of career opportunities,” he said by phone. “I haven’t been fortunate enough to get a long-term teaching contract locally that would allow me to continue coaching. I’m just at the point where as much as I absolutely love coaching and I love those kids, unfortunately it doesn’t quite pay the bills.”

The 28-year-old, who him-self graduated from Cocalico in 2007, admitted it was tough to walk away, especially after such a special season.

“It certainly is tough,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, there is a profound sense of regret that I am leaving but at the same point in time it’s nice to see the idea of what I wanted when I got hired, it finally started coming to fruition. That’s been pretty cool.”

And he’s leaving the program in better shape than it was when he started back in 2013.“You couldn’t script it any better,”

Oberly said. “I’m probably more proud of the fact that there is not going to be a dramatic cliff (when I leave). I think the kids are going to do real well next year, and I think they are set up for continual years of success. I think this year was a very, very good year for us but I think the kids next year can fully expect to be competing in the top half of the league, which I think is probably the most ex-citing part of it.”

He admits it will be the kids at Cocalico he will miss the most.“

There was no better place to coach,” he said. “The kids I got were consistently good kids, and that’s probably what I’ll remember more than anything. I had kids who weren’t necessarily great athletes that ended up being all-stars. I had great athletes who never touched a lacrosse stick who ended up falling in love with the sport. And they are just great kids off the field too. Kids who were deeply involved with service clubs and volunteer work and stuff like that. It’s the kids that I’ll miss more than anything. The sport I can stay involved in…It’s the kids who I’ll deeply miss.”

And while his pursuit of a teaching job could give him an opportunity to coach again down the road, he said it would have to be the right opportunity.

“You can never close the door,” he said. “I was deeply attached to the Cocalico pro-gram, having come through it, and that kind of allowed me to stick through some of the not-so-good times. I don’t know…it’s certainly something I could be interested in in the future if the right opportunity comes along, but right now my focus is finding a job.”

Cocalico began advertising the position this week and will receive applications through June 20. Anyone interested is urged to call the athletic office at 336-1438

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