Laing steps down as Gettysburg basketball coach
Being the head coach of one high school sports team is quite time consuming. Now try to imagine coaching three at the same time.
Gettysburg's Max Laing was the head coach of three Warrior programs since the start of the 2015-16 school year until Monday when he reluctantly resigned as the girls' basketball coach.
He'll stay on as softball head coach and co-head coach of the golf team.
"I knew the amount of time that was required and how I needed to be 100 percent all in. In reflecting back on this past season, I started to wonder if I would only be 99 percent all in for next year, as my kids get older," Laing said in an email. "Last year I drove home in the middle of summer vacation from the beach to coach a summer league game. It's difficult to explain to my young kids why I'm leaving."
Laing and his wife, Toni, have two children. Aaron, 7, plays baseball, soccer and basketball and participates in CrossFit Kids. Madison, 5, who plays tee ball and soccer and also does CrossFit Kids.
"My family played the biggest role in decision. My wife played basketball in college at IUP and she understood the commitment that was needed to run the program," Laing said. "Although she wanted me to continue and fully supported me in continuing, it wasn't fair that I was asking her to do everything while I coached the team."
Laing, who was an assistant for 10 seasons, took over the basketball program following the departure of Casey Thurston, who left for a position as an assistant coach at Gettysburg College. The Warriors posted six 20-win seasons during that 10-year span and made the PIAA tournament six times from 2005-06 through 2012-13.
While the past two seasons have brought only 13 total wins, Laing sees success looming on the horizon for the Warriors.
"I hope that I have left the program in a good place for the next person to lead it," he said. "I believe that the well is full.
"The JV team was 20-2 this year, while the middle school was also incredibly successful."
There will be no rest for Laing, at least in the short-term, as softball practice began on Monday afternoon. It'll be his 14th year as the head coach after serving as an assistant for three years.
For his day job, Laing is in his 17th year teaching accounting at Gettysburg, in addition to teaching courses in accounting and business at Harrisburg Area Community College. He also runs his own driving school.
As he walks away from basketball now, Laing did not close the door on a possible return to the bench in the future.
"I would never rule it out, my wife has already asked me if I'll ever go back," he said.