Hummer steps down as Warwick boys lax coach

By on June 27, 2018

Wayne Hummer (right), shown with the Ream Cup after his Warriors beat back-yard rival Ephrata this spring, is stepping down after six years as the Warwick boys lacrosse team’s head coach. (Lititz Record file photo)

Two-time Coach of Year compiled record of 67-44

When the Warwick boys lacrosse season ended in mid-May with a 9-3 District Three Triple-A playoff loss to Red Lion, coach Wayne Hummer had a pretty good idea that he’d be stepping down.

The clincher came a short time later.

At the conclusion of the Warriors’ year-end banquet, he was driving home with his wife, Kristi, and their 5-year-old son Calan.

Plans for the next day came up in conversation.

“Calan asked me in the car if I had lacrosse tomorrow,” Hummer recalled, “and I said, ‘No, buddy. The lacrosse season is over.’ And he said, ‘Oh, good. I really like it better when you’re home, dad.’ So I think that might have been the straw that tipped the scales to 100 percent there.”

With that, Hummer submitted his letter of resignation last week to Warwick Athletic Director Ryan Landis, ending his six-year run as the Warriors’ head coach. It will be on the Warwick School Board’s July meeting agenda for approval.

Hummer’s career record of 67-44 included four trips to the L-L semi-finals and District Three playoffs. The WHS boys earned their first two District wins in program history in 2015 and 2017 with first-round conquests of Susquehannock (7-5) and Red Lion (10-7), respectively.

But knowing that Calan will soon be playing sports, Hummer &tstr; who was named L-L Coach of the Year in 2014 and again this spring &tstr; thought the time was right for his decision.

“I want to be able to spend more time with him and my wife as well,” Hummer said. “I think the culture of the program is very strong and that there are good figures in place to take it to another level. I just think that right now, for me, the best thing is to hand over the program to somebody else who can devote that time.”

To say the least, this year has been a challenging one for Wayne and Kristi after their daughter, Lynnley, was stillborn last fall. Understandably, it was a big hurdle for Hummer to get himself into the right state of mind to coach this spring, helping the Warriors place third in the L-L standings.

“I think a lot of that comes from my guys and the assistant coaches that I had,” he said. “But what I recognized was, while in season, the rise and fall of emotions was just extended, and in some ways, in a good way because I think it was a big part of my healing and my family’s healing to stick around and go through that. I think that it was important for my healing that Lynnley wasn’t an excuse. Lynnley wasn’t a reason for me step away, to give up. In some ways, she was a catalyst to fight through it and work hard to experience the success that we did and grow as people.”

By stepping away, Hummer expects to have more time to devote to a foundation started in Lynnley’s name, which raises money to provide Cuddle Cots for hospitals that don’t have them. A Cuddle Cot is a cooling system that preserves stillborn babies while their parents grieve.

“It gives me an opportunity to do that, and I’ll be able to help out with the youth lacrosse as well,” he said. “So it’s not like I’m severing ties or anything. We’re definitely leaving on good terms and it doesn’t mean that I can’t help out in the future.”

Hummer was certainly on good terms this spring with his L-L League brethren, who voted him as Coach of the Year. As he noted in his acceptance speech at the banquet, Hummer views the honor as a team award, more so than an individual one.

“What it signifies is the program’s ability to buy into that coach’s message,” he said. “So as I was talking to the other programs, I wanted them to recognize that this is a special award because if your coach wins it, it means that you bought in, that you made the effort and continued to push through. We graduated a lot of guys and I’m not sure that a lot of teams around the League were looking at us thinking we were going to be as much of a threat as we were, and we ended up finishing third in the League. And we dealt with the normal things that teams deal with. We had injuries throughout the season. There was toughness (by our guys) that was evident, obviously, because other teams could see it. So I think that this year, it was really special receiving that award because of the amount of effort and work that our guys put in despite all the obstacles that were in our way.”

It’s those relationships with his players that he will miss most away from coaching.

“You get really close as a sports family,” Hummer said. I’m going to miss everything, but I think the thing I’ll probably miss the most is that energy that you feel when you walk out onto the field and I’ve got two lines of boys behind me that are excited and ready to get out on the field and play. And then when we get out to the mid-line, they run past me and every single one of them slaps my hand and I can just feel a connection between them and between the field and the purity of the game. So I’m definitely going to miss that the most.”

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