Sam Farrell was not necessarily looking for a coaching job when she was hired in January to lead the South River girls lacrosse team, just weeks after former Seahawks coach Kim McNemar stepped down.
Farrell, a Severna Park graduate who played at Florida, said Thursday she wasn't necessarily looking for her most recent opportunity, either.
After one season coaching South River, Farrell decided this week to join San Diego-based Mad Dog Lacrosse as a camp director and coach.
"Not in a thousand years did I ever think I was moving to California," Farrell said. "But I figured while I'm still young I might as well take this opportunity."
Farrell, who will run girls lacrosse camps along with fellow former Gator Kitty Cullen up and down the West Coast, said she and Cullen spent the last three weeks working for Mad Dog Lacrosse at camps in San Diego and Belmar, N.J. The company was formed in 2006 by former Johns Hopkins attackman Bill Duerr.
"It was really kind of out of nowhere ... My friend Kitty got his name through another friend," Farrell said. "We just said we’d be interseted in helping him out if he needs help."
That offer soon led to a full-time job offer. Farrell, an All-Metro midfielder at Severna Park and American Lacrosse Conference Defender of the Year in 2013, said she planned to begin the drive to San Diego on Aug. 25.
She informed Seahawks athletic director Dave Klingel of her decision on Wednesday. Klingel called the opportunity a "no-brainer."
"We cant offer that at South River," Klingel said. "I know the kids are going to be disappointed. Another lesson you teach the kids is 'you have to look for opportunities' … I don’t resent it, and I don’t resent her decision in any way.
"We’re grateful for what Sam gave to our program."
Farrell, who in May completed a master's degree in elementary and special education at Notre Dame of Maryland, had planned to teach fourth grade at Riverview Elementary in Lansdowne this fall. She'll instead take a year off from teaching and seek a job in the San Diego next year.
She is also thinking about other coaching opportunities. The Seahawks finished 8-7 this year, their season ending with a 10-6 loss to Broadneck in the Class 4A-3A East Section I semifinal in May.
"Those girls taught me so much. I kind of went in not really knowing what to expect," Farrell said. "I’ve obviously never coached at the high school level, and I learned so much about the logisitcs of it and learning to coach at that level.
"Communicating with the parents and players, I just took so much out of that first year. ... There is a high school down there (in San Diego) that is looking for a girls coach, and I’m definitely going to apply to that when I get down there. I'm hoping that will definitely be an option."
Klingel said South River would intervew candidates once the summer vacation season came to a close. He said he wouldn't hestitate to hire another young coach -- Farrell was 22 when the Seahawks selected her for the job in January.
"I’m looking for a good person … we look for good people," he said. "That can be 23, that can be 33, that be 53. Age doesn’t matter."
The Annapolis Capital first reported Farrell's resignation.