Richardson leaving Polytech

Under Lynn Richardson, Polytech has become a perennial Henlopen Conference and DIAA state tournament contender in field hockey and girls lacrosse. Delaware State News file photo

WOODSIDE — There’s a couple things Lynn Richardson really loves.

One, of course, is her family. And the other is her players and students at Polytech High.

But after 28 years as the Panthers’ successful coach in field hockey and then girls’ lacrosse, Richardson has decided it’s time to spend a little more time with her family.

That’s why the veteran coach recently accepted a teaching position at Cape Henlopen’s Beacon Middle School.

While Richardson will be helping start up a girls’ lacrosse program at Beacon, her husband, Lenny, has worked in the Cape school district for the past five years and both their parents live in the beach area. The couple had always planned to retire to the beach.

“As far as my family goes, it’s an easy decision,” said Richardson. “It’s kind of a nice transition to get me down there and to continue to work. I think it’s a good opportunity.”

Richardson is one of only two remaining teachers at Polytech from when the vo-tech school first opened in 1991. She started the Panthers’ field hockey program that year and, while she did take some years off when her two children were born, has been Polytech’s head coach for 19 of the last 28 seasons.

Richardson then started up the Panthers’ girls’ lacrosse program, which is in its ninth varsity season.

Under Richardson, Polytech has become a perennial Henlopen Conference and DIAA state tournament contender in both sports. She took the Panthers to the field hockey state finals in 2014 and the girls’ lacrosse state finals in 2015.

Cape Henlopen, of course, is dominant in both sports. But Richardson said she took the job at Cape really just to keep teaching and live at the beach.

Staying involved in coaching is just part of the whole package.

“Cape is very established with its programs and coaches,” said Richardson. “I’m a team player, I’ll do whatever people need me to do. But I’m not going down there to step on anybody’s toes or anything like that. I was just looking for an opportunity to be closer to my parents.”

Assistant coach Ben Todd will take over the head-coaching duties of Polytech’s girls’ lacrosse team. The field hockey opening will be posted on Monday.

Leaving Polytech won’t be easy for Richardson. She and Lenny both worked and coached there while their children, Sean and Katie, both competed for and graduated from the school.

Richardson broke the news to her current players before word of her impending departure got around too much.

Polytech’s girls’ lacrosse team is 9-5 with its regular-season finale, against Appoquinimink, coming up on Monday at 4:30 p.m. at home. The Panthers are already in fairly solid position to make the DIAA state tourney.

“The kids were great,” said Richardson. “The kids understand. I’ve been kind of hinting to them that my career’s coming to an end so I don’t don’t think they were shocked. Lacrosse is going to be in great hands.

“Polytech has been a great place for me and my family. I had the opportunity to coach a lot of awesome kids. No regrets. I am kind of proud of what we accomplished over the years. But I couldn’t have done it without the kids, the school support and the awesome parents. It’s been great, it really has. There’s a lot of great memories.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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