Charley Toomey is one of those rare people who is coaching at the university from which he graduated. He was a two-time All-America goalkeeper at Loyola before becoming the program’s head coach for the 2007 season.
But Toomey grew up in Annapolis, rooted for Navy and spent one year as the coach of the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) and two years as an assistant coach for the Midshipmen.
That’s why he admitted on Wednesday that he may feel slightly torn as he leads the No. 1 Greyhounds (9-1 overall and 5-0 in the Patriot League) into Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis for a conference showdown with the Midshipmen (4-5, 3-3) on Saturday at noon.
“I grew up as an Annapolitan,” Toomey said. “I grew up going to Navy games. I think anybody that gets into the sport probably has a place where they grew up watching and rooting for. It was also one of my first opportunities to get into this profession when they hired me to coach the NAPS program, and working with Coach [Richie] Meade and Coach [Bryan] Matthews down on the Yard was definitely a special time in my life. I have a lot of Navy friends in that program as well. But other than those things, I’m a Loyola graduate. My heart is in our locker room, but there’s a piece of that heart that will always be with the Naval Academy. It’s a special place, I believe that. But it’s easy to put aside your feelings on Saturday at 12 o’clock and we’re on the other sideline.”