Lorene McLaughlin, Connecticut – 1999
“My career began in 1973 at a small high school in Connecticut where I coached co-ed gymnastics and softball. During my career I have coached gymnastics, softball, field hockey, and lacrosse. From 1973-1976, I directed and coached gymnastics at various park and recreation and YMCA programs as well as at Middletown, CT, High School, a multicultural school.” From Middletown, Lorene moved to Farmington, CT, High School where she has been the head coach for gymnastics and field hockey and assistant coach for girls’ track, softball and boys’ track.
In 1978 she was approached by the parents of her field hockey players and asked if she would be interested in starting a girls’ lacrosse program. She had never played or coached the sport. After much research and attendance at clinics, she began two years ago with 76 girls in the first year. Her second year grew to 85 and she fielded three teams. This year the lacrosse team will be recognized as a varsity sport. “I am still learning the game, but enjoying the challenge.”
Lorene has also coached in the USFHA Futures Program as an elite level coach and in 1991, she was a coach in the Junior Olympic Games for field hockey. IN 1988 and in 1991, she was the Connecticut State Gymnastics Coach at the National High School gymnastics Championships at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Lorene organized and chaperoned a field hockey tour to Europe for 30 players and some parents in 1988 and in 1995. They were fortunate to have some homestays with the European players in England, France, Belgium, Germany, and Holland.
“Each year as school begins, I can’t wait to get on the field to start coaching field hockey. As I watch the players work hard and achieve those basic skills, I still get goose bumps on the legs as I am excited at their dedication and hard work.”
Lorene’s affiliations include: the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Association (CIAA) for 23 years, the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) secretary 3 years, United States Field Hockey Association (USFHA) for 20 years, the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Field Hockey Coaches Committee for 3 years. She is a member of the newly formed (ten years) National High School gymnastic coaches Association. She has also served on the National Federation Rules Committee from 1991-1994.
Her lifetime record in gymnastics is 180-79-1 (a tie right down to the one one-hundredth of a point), and in field hockey 166-59-51. Her gymnastic teams were 1992 state champions, 1991 state runners-up, 1981 5th in the state, and 1993, 3rd in the state. Her field hockey teams were state champions in 1982 and 1995, and competed in the state semifinals in 1983, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1998.
Coach McLaughlin’s recognitions include: 1984 Gymnastics Coach of the Year, 1990 Field Hockey Coach of the Year, 1991 Gymnastics Coach of the Year, 1996 Field Hockey Coach of the Year, and the 1990 National High School Coach of the Year nominee for special sports.