Samuels leaves Friends after 21 years; Girls AD job eliminated in department shuffling

After 21 years at Friends School, Carol Samuels has resigned as director of girls athletics following a restructuring of the physical education and athletic program.

Samuels said she found the new position offered her by Headmaster Jon Harris - that of assistant athletic director - unacceptable.


For the last 13 years, Samuels has been director of girls athletics, a position that existed before her arrival at Friends. In the restructuring, that position was eliminated in favor of assistant athletic director.

"I never considered taking the new position, as it has limited decision-making, leadership and growth opportunity, and it decreases the visibility of girls athletics," said Samuels, who also coached varsity field hockey and lacrosse, as well as middle school basketball.


"Girls athletics needs someone to focus on the sole needs and issues of that program. The boys program needs the same."

Samuels will become interim athletic director at the all-girls OldfieldsSchool beginning this summer. She will not coach a varsity sport but plans to remain active in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland.

Harris, in his second year as Friends headmaster, said he doesn't see the necessity to split boys and girls athletics.

"In a co-ed school, you can have one athletic director," said Harris, "and I feel we can have a very good boys program and a very good girls program. I'm sad that 'Sam' is leaving. We had a good position for her."

Doug DeSmit, chairman of physical education and athletics, will become physical education director. Upper School Dean Jon Garman, who coached the Quakers boys varsity lacrosse team for 14 years, will become athletic director. Anne McGinty, a physical education teacher and coach, will assume what is now the associate athletic director's position.

Samuels, The Sun's Baltimore City-County field hockey Coach of the Year in 1998, said she was never interested in the athletic director's job, only in maintaining a separate presence for the girls program.

At Friends next year, Sallie Neal, a Parkville and Towson University graduate, will coach varsity lacrosse and volleyball. A varsity field hockey coach is to be named later.