Sounding more apprehensive than perhaps he would care to admit, Tim Horsmon packed his bags Friday for a new life--and a new job--in Pittsburgh. Horsmon, who led Calvert to the Maryland 3A state volleyball title last year, accepted an offer Tuesday to become head coach at Robert Morris College.
"I'm very, very nervous," said Horsmon, the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference and All-Extra Coach of the Year in 1998. "I was very comfortable down here with what I was doing, with the people who surrounded me. But how many opportunities do you have to go from high school to a Division I college? Not many, but that doesn't make it easy. I have a lot of roots here, a lot of family and friends--not to mention the players--who make it tough to leave."
In three years at Calvert, Horsmon compiled a 60-5 record, guiding the Cavaliers to undefeated regular seasons in 1997 and 1998. He leaves a group of talented seniors--including Laura Fowler, Jen Peel and April Shields--to former assistant Dave Redden, who has been named the team's interim head coach.
"He just came out and told us, and I was stunned," said Fowler, the team's starting setter. "I thought he was joking. But he got really serious all of a sudden, and I knew he wasn't. I could tell he was upset about leaving, about having to tell us. None of us want him to leave."
While Horsmon knows what it is he leaves behind--he said the hardest part of the transition was turning in his keys to Calvert's gym--he said he has little idea of what awaits him in Pittsburgh.
"I know zero about this team other than they were 6-23 last year, so it sounds like there is a whole lot of work to do when I get there," Horsmon said. "I'm just going to try to do what we did here, build a winning program. Our first goal will be winning the Northeast Conference and getting into the NCAA tournament."
He will have little time to make the transition this year: The Colonials open their 1999 season against Morgan State on Sept. 3 at the Lehigh Invitational.
Horsmon said he plans to return to the area to recruit, and he already has marked one game on his calendar: Northern at Calvert, Oct. 7. Northern won four straight state titles before Calvert knocked the Patriots off last year. That trip, however, won't be just about business.
"I can tell you there are some girls on that Northern squad I will be looking at for next year," Horsmon said. "But I'll still be rooting for the blue and gold."