Red Lion becomes latest school searching for lacrosse coaches in Y-A League
- Red Lion is looking for new boys' and girls' lacrosse coaches after Stefan Striffler and Samantha Phipps both resigned from their roles.
- Striffler coached the boys' team for five seasons, going 56-35 in that time, while Phipps was the girls' coach for two seasons, going 21-15.
- Red Lion becomes the fourth boys' program in need of a new lacrosse coach in the Y-A League, along with Central York, Delone Catholic and West York.
Red Lion is now the latest York-Adams League high school in search of a new lacrosse coach.
In the case of the Lions, they're actually looking to fill both the boys' and girls' positions.
Stefan Striffler stepped down as the boys' coach, while Samantha Phipps resigned as the girls' coach, leaving athletic director Arnie Fritzius with two fairly major positions to fill.
"Sam just felt like she needed to step away," Fritzius said. "She just felt like she needed to devote a little more time to her profession, which is teaching for us at the junior high.
"Stefan is kind of a similar situation," Fritzius said. "I think he felt like he had done a lot of good things with the boys' program. It takes a lot of time. ... Stefan has his own business and the commitment to being there at 3 p.m. every day for practices and running year-round activities, I think, for him, it was just time to step away and regroup."
Striffler spent five seasons as the boys' coach at Red Lion, compiling a 56-35 record and guiding the team to four consecutive postseason appearances in his final four years. He was named the 2015 Y-A League Coach of the Year and United States Lacrosse Central Pennsylvania Coach of the Year.
Striffler didn't respond to an email request for an interview.
"Stefan came into a program that was sort of disorganized and he quickly rallied the troops," Fritzius said. "He created a quality coaching staff, got the kids playing the right way. ...He loves that sport, wants kids to be passionate about the sport and, if he decides to coach again, he'll help someone else turn a program around."
Phipps was only the coach of the Lions' girls' team for two seasons, going 21-15 in her two seasons, making the Y-A League Tournament in 2016 and qualifying for districts both seasons. She was named the coach immediately out of college, helping out a program that was without a coach and in a tight spot, despite only having plans of getting her teaching career going.
"She came in as a new teacher, right out of school," Fritzius said. "I kind of convinced her that we could help her with the transition to learn how to be a teacher and a coach at the same time. Her first instinct wasn't to become a coach, year one, right out of college. ...She has total commitment to girls' lacrosse and teaching the girls how to do it the right way. She was completely focused on showing the kids how to win, as well as how to win the right way. If she ever chooses to coach again down the road, I'll be the first person on her reference list."
Battling with rivals: Fritzius said he hopes to have the positions filled by the time the new school year begins, but said he's willing to stretch that deadline out a little longer just so he makes the right hires.
Finding a new coach for the girls' team will be the easier of the two because, on the boys' side, Red Lion is just one of four current open jobs in the Y-A League.
Central York's longtime coach Tom Mayne resigned last week and Central York athletic director Marty Trimmer said he plans to open the application process later this month.
West York is looking for a new head coach to replace Rodney Tamblin and so is Delone Catholic, which just completed its first season as a full Y-A League member.
"I think we're all looking for good coaches, obviously," Fritzius said about contending with other teams looking for new bosses. "...I've already met with two people and talked with two others and the sense is to get the right person, but hurry up and don't make a mistake. I don't know what the other schools' situations are. Some of them might have someone in the assistant role that they can promote up, but that's not our situation. We'll be looking to go completely on the outside."
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org