More change is coming to Manheim Township's sports programs.
As late as the beginning of August Relin fully expected to coach this winter, just as he had the past three years.
But on a family trip a couple of weeks ago he began thinking about having to miss watching his college-age daughters Michelle and Jamie playing field hockey and basketball at the University of Rochester and Gettysburg College, respectively. His son, Josh, is a sophomore at Township.
“It’s a very small window,” he said of the opportunity to watch his children play. And being a head coach, he added, is a "year-round thing."
Like more and more coaches these days, Relin opted not to sacrifice family time. He informed Czerwinski at an Aug. 18 meeting that he was stepping down as head coach and later that day met with his assistant coaches and players to inform them.
“Believe me, it was a very difficult decision,” Relin said Monday. “I love coaching. It’s in my blood. The hardest thing for me is leaving some of these people.”
Relin, who has taught health and physical education at Hempfield for 24 years, doesn’t rule out a return to coaching.
“I can see myself getting back into it on some level,” he said. “I have no regrets. I was very fortunate to get the (head coaching) position. I’ve been blessed. God has blessed me. I’ve been with a lot of successful programs, been a part of district playoffs, league championship game, PSAC championship with Shippensburg (University).”
Czerwinski said Relin’s announcement at their meeting took him by surprise.
“He said due to family reasons he was resigning immediately,” said Czerwinski. “It was a bombshell.”
Czerwinski said Township opened the position that day – last Tuesday – and that the search for a new head coach will continue until Sept. 4. Following that will be a review of applicants.
Czerwinski said Township will move quickly to fill the position.
“We don’t want to fall behind,” he said.
The boys’ basketball season tips off in early December.
Relin said despite Township’s record last winter – 7-9 in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League and 8-13 overall - the new head coach will have a lot to work with in terms of talent.
“The cupboard’s not bare,” he said. “Last year was rough but we were very competitive. This group never quit. I think opposing coaches will say we always played hard.”
Relin made it a point to credit some of his former coaches, most notably former Hempfield coach Warren Goodling.
“I worked with Warren Goodling for 14 years,” Relin said. “It was a great experience. He’s a great mentor.”
Relin said he tried to be the same mentor to his assistants. One of them, Chris Christensen, recently took the reins of Warwick’s boys’ basketball program, Jeff Landis having stepped down to spend more time with his family.