After a summer spent deciding between a steady paycheck and what he loves to do most, Glenn Larnerd reluctantly chose the former.
Larnerd has stepped down as Leonardtown's boys' basketball and baseball coach in order to remain the school's athletic director. Except for a three-year stint as men's basketball coach at St. Mary's College of Maryland in the mid-1980s, Larnerd has been a staple in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference and the Leonardtown athletic department since the school opened in 1978.
"I had to make what was the best decision for me financially as I get closer to retirement," said Larnerd, 60, who has coached in St. Mary's County for 34 years. Coaching "was a major part of my life. I enjoyed it immensely. It's hard to give it up."
After seven years at Chopticon, Larnerd was named Leonardtown's baseball coach when the school opened. After one season, he took over the boys' basketball program, then gave up both in 1984, when he left for three seasons to coach at St. Mary's College.
He returned to Leonardtown with three jobs -- coaching baseball and basketball as well as serving as athletic director.
The two coaching positions Larnerd vacated will be advertised as interim positions for the coming school year, said Leonardtown Principal J. Scott Smith.
"Part of it is out of deference to Mr. Larnerd and what he has done here," Smith said. "If he finds out that he misses coaching, after a year, we'll sit down and talk about what we can do."
Last year, St. Mary's County enacted a rule that essentially forced Larnerd to choose between being a coach and an athletic director. The athletic director position was changed to an 11-month job that does not require teaching classes. All coaches, however, must teach a full course load. If Larnerd wanted to be athletic director and a coach, he would have been paid only a stipend in addition to his coaching stipends and his teacher's salary.
Chopticon athletic director Rich O'Donnell, who coached the Braves' boys' basketball team for 27 years, stepped down after last season for the same reason.