Robinson softball coach Barry Gorodnick dies at 47


Robinson softball coach Barry Gorodnick walks the infield during a 2010 game. (Mark Gail/The Washington Post)
May 14, 2012

Longtime Robinson softball Coach Barry Gorodnick died Saturday night after an 18-month battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was 47.

A Robinson graduate who worked with the faculty at the Fairfax school and was the defensive coordinator for the Rams football program through the 2010 season, Gorodnick coached the softball team since 1989, and was one of the most committed and well-respected coaches in the Virginia AAA Northern Region.

His teams went 323-184, won the Northern Region championship in 2007, and won district titles in 1995, 2004 and 2008.

“There was nobody who loved this school more than him,” Robinson Director of Student Activities Jeff Ferrell said. “He just loved working here and loved coaching softball. It’s a huge loss.”

Gorodnick was diagnosed with his illness in December 2010, but still coached the Rams during the 2011 season even as he underwent treatment.

Gorodnick had shown signs of recovery in September, but a November bone marrow transplant was unsuccessful and his condition worsened.

Although he was unable to continue coaching this spring, he was recently honored as the 2012 Concorde District Coach of the Year by the district’s coaches.

“He was a great coach. His teams always competed,” Westfield Coach Dean Ferington said. “A couple of years ago they were in a down year and we were pretty good, and we went up on them in a game 13-0. Then the next time I looked up it was 13-11. They just always kept going. Just like Barry.”

Gorodnick was one of the longest-tenured and winningest coaches in the Northern Region, one of the “Old Guard” of coaches who have been mainstays on the area’s high school softball scene.

“He was a hard guy to get to know,” Madison softball Coach John Schneeberger said, “but once you got to know him he was a good friend.”

Ferrell said Gorodnick was one of the most reliable and trusted members of the Robinson staff. As a school-based technology specialist he was responsible for helping teachers learn to use new computer software.

Gorodnick took pride in keeping the softball field at Robinson in terrific shape, and Ferrell said his facilities were always immaculate.

“If his name was attached to it,” Ferrell said. “You knew it was going to get done.”

Gorodnick is survived by his wife, Jen, and their three children.

An online fundraiser has been established to help cover medical costs and has already raised more than $57,000.

Plans for a memorial are pending. To donate to The Gorodnick Family Fundraiser, visit gofundme.com/barryg.

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