Chris Lacy is going to take a break from coaching – at the high school level.
Lacy, head coach of a successful Rock Falls girls track and field program the past nine seasons, resigned last week. It was formally accepted at the Rock Falls school board meeting on Sept. 25.
Lacy, 33, cited his family as the reason he is stepping down. He and his wife, Katie, have a son, Aiden, 5, who is active in sports. He plays youth football in the fall, basketball in the winter and tee-ball in the spring.
Lacy coaches his son in football and baseball, but the track season, which extends from preseason workouts in January until the state meet at the end of May, was cutting into family time.
“I felt like missing that stuff was something I wasn’t going to get back,” Lacy said. “My wife has put up with me probably being somewhat bipolar at times for almost 10 years now, so I owed it to her, too.”
Lacy talked with coaching colleagues Jay Mammosser and Shane Brown, as well as Rock Falls athletic director Rich Montgomery, about the struggles of balancing family and coaching. The consensus: family comes first.
“They all told me you don’t get those years back,” Lacy said. “In the grand scheme of things, it’s more important to be home.”
When asked what he’ll miss the most, it wasn’t any championships won or outstanding individual performances. It was working with his athletes on a daily basis, and building more than a coach-athlete bond. Lacy noted he’ll be attending the wedding of one of his former runners, Ashley Keaschall, in a few weeks.
“I still stay in touch with a lot of my athletes,” Lacy said. “The relationships you build, that’s what I’m going to miss most.”
At some point, Lacy hopes to come back to the Rock Falls track program in some capacity, if the opportunity arises.
“Jay [Mammosser] said, ‘Man, by the time your kid’s in third grade, he’ll be sick of you,’” Lacy said with a smile. “You’ll be ready to come back.”
Family: Wife, Katie; son, Aiden
FYI: Head girls track coach at Rock Falls from 2004-2012. ... Rockets won four NCIC Lincoln titles, and were runners-up the past two seasons in Big Northern Conference.