By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/26/10
Mike Friel, who guided Springfield-Delco’s boys’ lacrosse team to the Central League championship in 2010, has resigned to accept the position of athletic director at Radnor.
Friel served as the Cougars’ coach for eight years – also winning the 2005 league title – while posting a record of 112-48. This spring he was named Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association Coach of the Year and a runner-up for the Phillylacrosse.com Coach of the Year.
Friel, a Ridley graduate, also was an assistant football coach for 10 years at Ridley where he taught English. He said the opportunity to take an administrative job was enticing and that the programs and people at Radnor are top-notch.
He also said that leaving his lacrosse program was most difficult.
“The lacrosse end of it was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” he said. “The kids, the families – that part is really, really hard, no doubt about that.
“I love coaching lacrosse. It’s my greatest passion – the day-in, day-out part of it, scouting, and then game-day. That was the best part.
“And leaving Ridley … it was so hard. That’s where I went to school and where I have been forever. The people were so good to me. It’s a sad end and a happy start.”
Friel said he’ll leave Springfield-Delco with one regret – that his Cougars did not win the state championship. This year, Springfield-Delco (20-3) was ranked No. 1 in the state for weeks and entered the District 1 tourney as the top seed after edging Conestoga, 4-3, in overtime and whipping La Salle in the regular season.
But Conestoga – the eventual state champion – toppled Springfield-Delco in the District 1 final and La Salle knocked the Cougars out in the state quarterfinals.
“It’s really hard; we had a lot of success and sent a lot of kids to college to play lacrosse,” said Friel, who played lacrosse at Cabrini College in Radnor Township. “But not winning a state championship in that community is disappointing.”
Friel also was coach of the Philly team at the Under Armour Underclassmen Games in July.