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Archive for January 12, 2018

Jan. 12, 2018 — A Connecticut legend exits the stage on her own terms

After 41 years, 10 state championships, and almost 600 coaching wins, Cathy McGuirk is retiring from the field hockey coaching position at Branford (Conn.), a village about two miles east of Yale University.

McGuirk’s early successes as a goalkeeper at Southern Connecticut State University may have been a precursor to her future success as a coach; she went undefeated and unscored-upon during her collegiate career in the cage.

She took over the head coaching position at Branford only after a decade’s worth of mentoring by the then-head coach, Virginia Moessmang. It took McGuirk eight seasons to win her first state championship, then would win it again the next year. She would then make the state final in a higher enrollment class the next year.

Keeping her grounded during this whirlwind of success was her husband John. The two coached together on the sidelines for 38 years, and John also received one of the earliest known (1996) field hockey awards specifically designated for assistant coaches.

Cathy McGuirk, with 558 wins, retires as the all-time coaching wins leader for Connecticut public schools. And if there was a category for the number of lives touched, she has to be high on that list as well.