Severna Park High school without Andy Borland is unimaginable.
But after 34 years as a physical education teacher and football coach, the last 25 as head coach, Borland, 58, is retiring, effective June 30. He has been in the county school system 35 years.
"It came as a shock this morning," said Severna Park athletic director Wayne Mook in announcing Borland's decision yesterday. "Andy is an institution here, and he will be greatly missed. He's kind of teared up about it."
Borland, a native of Durham, N.C., who graduated from Atlantic Christian College and earned a master's degree at the University of North Carolina, taught one year at Annapolis (1962-63) before moving to Severna Park in 1963.
He assisted the late George Roberts, the school's first football coach, and succeeded him in 1973. Borland's 25-year record as head coach is 145-108. His win total is the third highest in county history -- behind the late Al Laramore (156-68-2) at Annapolis and South River's Joe Papetti (154-81-3).
"I had some health problems this past year and just felt it was time to [retire]," said Borland, who became the dean of county coaches when his close friend, Laramore, died of a heart attack in 1989. "I guess it's never a good time to do this, but you do what you have to do. I'm going to miss the kids. It's been a fantastic ride, and the school has been great to me."
Borland also coached wrestling, indoor and outdoor track (won state title in 1973), and was athletic director from 1978 to 1985. He also started and teaches a weight training program that has helped scores of Severna Park athletes improve.
Coaching football was his passion, though. Borland's annual statement that "Aug. 15 [start of football practices] is like Christmas morning to me" was hokey but true.
"Andy was from the old school, like 'Big Al' [Laramore]," said Annapolis coach Roy Brown. "He was very strong-minded, ran a first-class program, said the things, and did the things a coach should do."
Four-year varsity quarterback Greg Korwek, whose brother Lex also played for Borland, said the coach was a father figure.
"Coach Borland was a lot of fun but knew when to be serious and was someone you could always talk to when you had a problem," said Korwek.
Borland led the Falcons to their greatest season at 10-2 in 1987, and that year's Falcons gave him one of his greatest thrills by beating archrival Annapolis twice.
The Severna Park-Annapolis football rivalry is the county's oldest and best with Borland a major part of it for 35 years. Borland's 13-13 mark in the 39-game series gives him the most wins (one more than Laramore, 12-10-2) of any of the six who have coached in it.
The 1987 Falcons knocked off Annapolis 16-7 in the final regular season game and a week later took a 10-7 overtime decision from the Panthers in the state quarterfinals.
Severna Park made it to the state playoffs three more times -- in 1988, 1990 and 1994.
Borland said he intends to stay involved with football by serving on the board of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.
"I'll do some hunting and fishing," he added. "I've got plenty of hobbies."
Jamie Bragg, a former Falcon, Maryland lineman, and now assistant coach, is expected to be among the candidates for Borland's job.
Pub Date: 5/15/98