This year, I have spent most of the year writing what seemed like a series, introducing each of the eight new head coaches at Kingsway. Well, the final coach to be covered here is Kingsway alumnus Kyle McLaughlin, who was hired as the boys’ lacrosse coach.
Up to this year, Kingsway boys’ lacrosse had only had one coach in the programs history in Sean Dunn. Dunn stepped down this season after 11 years of service. Kingsway had to look no further than to one of its own in McLaughlin, who played for Dunn and graduated from Kingsway in 2012.
While at Kingsway, McLaughlin was a midfielder and was a two time All Conference selection as well as a member of the All South Jersey team. He also was the winner of the Bob Scott Award, given annually to the top scholar-athlete in the South Jersey.
He also was named the South Jersey Times Player of the Year in 2012. From 2010 to 2012, he also played club lacrosse for the South Jersey Shamrocks.
After graduating from Kingsway, he moved on to Florida Southern, a Division II school, where he played in 55 out of a possible 62 games in his career. He was a four-year starter and made the Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll all four years and also was team captain. He graduated with honors from Florida Southern in 2016 with a degree in Human Movement and Performance.
Upon his graduation, McLaughlin had plans to return to New Jersey to coach at some level. Since the beginning of his high school career, he knew that he wanted to coach. Little did he know that the opportunity to head his alma mater’s lacrosse program would soon appear before him.
“While I was in high school, I had the chance to work with our youth program,” he said. “I also would return from college in the summer to coach with my former club team, the South Jersey Shamrocks. At that point, I knew that coaching was something that I wanted to do.”
At Kingsway, McLaughlin inherited a team that had gone 12-7 in 2016 and made the South Jersey semifinals. However, they also sustained heavy losses to graduation, with 16 players moving on. That has not stopped McLaughlin from having big goals for his team.
“Obviously, you never forget where you came from, so there will be some remnants of what Coach Dunn did,” said McLaughlin. “However, I will institute some new offensive schemes, so it is important for the new players to buy into the system that I wanted to institute.
“Our philosophy will shift a bit, in terms of our movement on the field”, McLaughlin continued. “Being fresh out of college, I am looking to bring the speed of the collegiate game to our program. It will help the kids play at a higher level and assist in their transition from the high school game to the collegiate game.”
One can’t help but hear the excitement in McLaughlin’s voice, being back in his old stomping grounds.
“I am so excited and fortunate to be a part of this program”, McLaughlin continued. “It’s where I am from, and I want to give back. I am fortunate to have been given this opportunity, and I plan to make the most of it.”
Sounds like Coach McLaughlin will make an immediate impact in a short amount of time. Knowing the impact that Kingsway has had on him, it is certain that he will return that favor to his program and school in no time.
By Christian Lynch