By Ali Pechman
Field hockey players were not met by varsity and junior varsity Field Hockey Coach Gino Grajeda on Aug. 7 at the start of his Gold Medal Field Hockey Camp, but rather by Head of Upper School Harry Salamandra, wielding a letter written by Grajeda announcing his sudden resignation.
The news of his resignation came to team members only weeks before the preseason started and just before the varsity teamâs trip to Orlando for the KSA tournament from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3.Â
Freshman coach and assistant coach to the varsity and JV teams Erin Creznic took over Grajedaâs coaching duties and corresponded with Grajeda via e-mail about the tournament.Â
âWe are very pleased to have Erin Creznic to take over the program,â Athletic Director Darlene Bible said.
âShe is very competent, and the girls adore her.â
In the letter, Grajeda explains he will be pursuing another job opportunity.Â Grajedaâs new position is with Amateur Athletic Union in Volleyball, according to Head of Athletics Audrius Barzdukas.
Grajeda acted as Director of the National AAU Volleyball Executive Committee and Chair of the AAU Beach Volleyball Committee. Creznic said that Grajedaâs commitment to beach volleyball has almost become a second full-time job for him.Â
His duties included promoting finanacial matters, representation and setting up the games.
Grajeda met with Salamandra two hours before his resignation was first announced. He did not coach the Gold Medal program that week and has not contacted the JV or varsity teams as a whole, other than through his letter which was mailed home to all field hockey team members.
âIt was difficult for him,â Salamandra said. âThis whole thing has been hard for him because he was so instrumental to building the program.â
Grajeda has communicated to the captains of the varsity team that he will try to continue coaching club field hockey.
While his players were aware of his responsibilities to volleyball, none were given any clue he would be leaving before his letter of resignation was read.
âNo one knew he would be leaving,â varsity team member Molly Goodman â09 said.
It was a bit of a shock, but Erin [Creznic] was with us last year so she really knows our team.â Barzdukas, who found out Grajeda was to resign in July, said Creznic is a perfect fit for the team.
âWith 150 coaches, weâre kind of used to this,â Barzdukas said.Â âTurnover is only natural.â
âWe have an excellent field hockey program.Â Now weâll just continue taking it to the next level.â
Grajeda could not be reached for comment.