Former Hammond High School coach Gay Petrlik, a member of the Howard County Women’s Athletics Hall of Fame, died Sunday, May 26, after a period of battling illness.
She was 66 and lived in Ellicott City.
Petrlik taught physical education at Hammond from 1984 until her retirement in 2010. She coached field hockey, indoor and outdoor track, and started Hammond’s girls lacrosse program in 1988.
Petrlik's 1987 indoor track team and her 1988 field hockey team won county titles. Her 1997 girls lacrosse team advanced to the state semifinals.
To her players, she was Coach P.
Petrlik's field hockey teams amassed 145 victories before she retired as coach in 2006 after 19 years.
She was Hammond’s varsity lacrosse coach until 2000, when she switched roles with her daughter, Emily, and became the team’s assistant coach. Petrlik’s son, Todd, took over the girls varsity in 2005.
Petrlik’s coaching demeanor was always even keeled. She was a lady on the sideline and taught her players how to win — and lose — with grace. She was nurturing by nature.
“I try to model myself on how a decent human being should be. I treated my players and students with respect and I got it back,” Petrlik said in 2008 at the time of her induction into the Howard County Women’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
Petrlik received Howard County teaching excellence awards in 1988 and 1998. She was also the recipient of the Simon McNeely Award, which is given by the Maryland Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
She is survived by her husband, George, and her children Becky Timmins, Emily Cox and Todd Petrlik. She has six grandchildren.
A time of friendship will be held Wednesday, May 29 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Gary L. Kaufman Funeral Home, 7250 Washington Blvd., Elkridge.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, May 30 at 10 a.m. at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8220 Old Montgomery Road, Columbia, MD 21045.