Worley resigns from LHS field hockey

Published 10:01 pm Friday, December 13, 2013

The author of more than a decade’s worth of dominance in the sport of field hockey at Lakeland High School decided the time was best to step down.

Tara Worley resigned on Thursday as head coach of the Lady Cavaliers.



“Honestly, I’d love to be able to do it forever, but there just comes a point where it’s time to move on and give something back to my kids,” she said.

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The demands of the job meant she had limited time with her daughter Regan, who will soon be 9, and her 5-year-old son Grayson.

“She’s spent a great amount of time at Lakeland High School training other people’s kids,” Lakeland activities director Gregory Rountree said.

Worley served one year as the junior varsity coach, then took over as varsity coach for the last 15 years.

During that time, she led the team to a record of 250-46-3. Included in that run was one state championship, two regional championships, 13 regular season Southeastern District titles, 12 district tournament titles and one conference championship.

Rountree said she established a foundation for the program, and “She definitely built the house.”

“I started doing this when I was 23,” Worley said. “I was unmarried, no kids. It was just a completely different time.”

She had one central goal: “I know I wanted to build a program,” she said.

She felt like the Beach schools got all the attention for being the best in the area, and she wanted to put Lakeland on the map. When the Lady Cavs won the Group AAA state championship in 2010, she realized she had succeeded.

“We eventually made it to where when they talked about the best teams in the area, they just named us,” she said. “We were considered one of those.”

“We’re going to miss her, truly going to miss her,” Rountree said.

Worley said she came to realize there would never be a right time to end her run, just a time that was better than others.

She admitted to being sad and even nervous about what comes next because coaching the Lady Cavaliers is “what I’ve known for 16 years, so it’s going to be completely different.”

She recently completed her master’s degree in educational administration and leadership.

“I’d eventually like to go into administration,” she said.

As for now, she said, “I don’t have any immediate plans. I’m still going to continue to work to build the sport in the city and surrounding cities, because I do love it, and I’ll stay involved with it with my daughter.”

Worley let her final Lady Cavs team know the news on Thursday evening at a team dinner. She also made an announcement on Facebook to fellow coaches, former players and friends, receiving overwhelming support.

“I can’t even tell you how much easier it made this day,” she said.

“It will be tough to find someone to replace her,” Rountree said, but he will begin the search after Christmas.