Diane Chapman, Garden City (N.Y.) girls’ lacrosse team coach for the last 18 years and often referred to as “Chappy,” has retired from coaching.
She won 10 New York State lacrosse titles in lacrosse and seven more in field hockey, a sport she coached at Garden City for 29 years. Her all-time records speak to her sustained success.
In lacrosse, she accumulated a career record of 314-43-1. In field hockey, she went 473-41-23.
With 17 combined state crowns, Chapman said it’s impossible to pick a singular favorite moment. Instead, she reminisces about each team individually, savoring the experiences of each of her athletes.
“I’m just so proud of every year and what we were able to accomplish,” Chapman told US Lacrosse Magazine on Monday. “Every year was different because it was the first for some girls or the last for some girls. It was always so fulfilling and wonderful.”
Given the global COVID-19 pandemic, Chapman was unable to tell her players in person, instead opting for text messages to alert them of the news. Many of her student-athletes have played both field hockey and lacrosse under her tutelage and have gone on to play at the Division I level. College field hockey and lacrosse rosters are littered with her players.
Garden City, one of Long Island’s preeminent girls’ lacrosse towns, often features naturally gifted athletes. As such, Chapman’s coaching style could be described as relatively hands-off until it was time to step in.
“I’ve been very blessed with great assistant coaches,” she said. “We coach [the players] and they’re knowledgeable, but no matter how good you are, even the professionals need to be coached. We try not to over-coach, and we let them do things.”
Having coached in the fall and spring — and often during seasons that extended well beyond their respective regular seasons — Chapman said she’s looking forward to having some more downtime.
“I’m looking forward to being able to do what I want and how I want and when I want, but I will definitely be following Garden City very closely in all sports,” Chapman said. “Just because I’m not coaching doesn’t mean I’m not going to be connected to them.”
Chapman has also retired from teaching, and she said moving on from coaching was always something she’d do when she was done as an educator. She taught for 30 years in the nearby Levittown district and for three years in Massapequa after spending three years teaching in Greenwich, Conn.