by Andrew Garda
After 16 years, Montclair High School girls lacrosse coach Ann Jennings is leaving the program, as is her longtime assistant, Susan Murnick, who has been with the program 18 years.
“There is never a right time to say goodbye,” Jennings wrote in an email to parents, players and media. “Each year is a new team, new faces and new bonds that you create with your players. No matter when or who you say goodbye to, it will always be difficult.”
Jennings leaves the program with a record of 180-136, including a Group IV Sectional Title, an Essex County Title, 6 Essex County Runner Up Titles, while also reaching four Group Sectional Finals and five Group Sectional Semi Finals.
Her reach extended beyond the field, though, as she helped re-establish the Montclair Youth Lacrosse League and was the founder of the On the Ball Lacrosse camp, which ran for 13 years.
She also wrote about her player’s achievements off the field.
“I am honored to have coached 6 Essex County Scholar Athletes, 3 NJSIAA Scholar Athletes, 4 All Americans and 49 Academic All Americans,” she wrote. “I am honored to have served on many coaching committees, helped to serve NJSIAA, Coach the Under Armour NJ Underclassman and have been the NJ North All American Chair. It has been my pleasure to have coached so many young women who have touched my life and I can only hope that I have made a difference in theirs.”
Along with the long tenure of Jennings, Murnick coached at Montclair High School for 18 years, as the Freshman and Junior Varsity coach, before joining Jennings as her assistant eight years ago.
“Montclair lacrosse will always be a part of me and I look forward to taking part in the search for a new coach,” she said in her closing. “It is my intention to make it an easy transition for the program and the players.”
When reached for comment about what comes next, Jennings replied, “I’m ready to take up golf!”