His voice still rings in my ears. ?Good girl,? he would say to me whenever I performed well.

And even when I seemed to have reached a new low, he knew how to comfort me, with just a simple pat on my shoulder and a look ? a look to me that said he believed in my talent and that I was still one of his ?good girls.?

When I graduated and bid farewell to my javelin coach, I never thought that I would hear that phrase used again by another coach with such a genuine caring sentiment. I was wrong.

Women?s soccer head coach Terry Gurnett, Class of 1977, is proud of all of his girls on the squad ? especially for Sept. 29, the night when the Yellowjackets slaughtered top-ranked Emory University to give their coach his 300th victory.

Despite the tremendous milestone, Gurnett still doesn?t ?take anything for granted.?

His enthusiasm and belief in the depth and overall talent of his squad gives him faith that there is more success in UR?s soccer program. And according to him, the quality of the team starts with the quality of the student-athletes.

?I think the alumni can be proud that we recruit a group of very good soccer players who are very good students and better people,? Gurnett said in the Rochester Review. ?We can take heart that there are only good folks in this program.?

It is no wonder with that mindset that 21 Yellowjackets coached by Gurnett have received All-American honors.

In addition, four have earned Academic All-American distinctions and two squads have earned the National Soccer Coach?s Association Team Academic Award.

Furthermore, through his ?good folks? recruiting philosophy, Gurnett has achieved a lot in the world of women?s soccer.

His modest character would never reflect the magnitude of his success. Since graduating from UR, he has a combined record of 302 wins, 89 losses, and 40 ties ? making him Div. III soccer?s all-time win leader. He was also selected as National Collegiate Athletic Association?s Coach of the Decade for the 1980s.

His animated technique and approachability not only touches the players during the season, but off the turf as well. Gurnett?s passion for soccer and his pure appreciation for life make a lasting impact.

?He?s a great guy,? former player Jill McCabe, Class of 1988, said in the Rochester Review.

And his current senior captains can vouch for the truth of that.

?A good coach is someone who genuinely cares for his players and is excited about the team,? forward Christine Sipala said. ?Terry definitely fits this description.?

And as a person, ?Terry is caring, happy and humorous,? senior midfielder Loren Cerami said.

Most of all, his players will always regard him as a down-to-earth ?history buff.?

?We walked around [Europe] with Terry a lot and it was great to hear all the history lessons,? Cerami said.

Over the last 25 years, this icon with record successes has been offered the opportunity to leave Rochester behind and to start out anew ? including top soccer programs like Notre Dame University and University of Pennsylvania. Unlike most high school and college graduates, who are eager to flee hometowns, Gurnett reflects a loyalty to the city of Rochester.

Currently, Gurnett is also the Associate Director of Athletics and Recreation, where he coordinates the Friends of Rochester Athletics program, as well as an active staff member of Alumni Relations and Development.

Despite his busy schedule, Gurnett has plenty to smile about. His women?s squad is having an outstanding season and is currently ranked No. 16 in the national rankings.

Congratulations coach ? you are truly motivational. We have a lot to learn and a lot to thank.

Wu can be reached at jwu@campustimes.org



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