Franklin Zirkle Retires After 7 Years


Franklin Zirkle, LRHS boy’s head lacrosse coach, decided to retire after a very successful 7 years with the program. While at Leesville, Coach Zirkle was able to rack up more than 200 wins. 

Zirkle seemed to have changed Leesville lacrosse culture when joining the program in 2014. He has brought many wins and fundraising events for the school. While Zirkle was the head coach, every year the boys did either a carwash or another type of fundraising event. 

Zirkle is originally from Woodberry Forest, VA, which is where he began to play lacrosse. For his junior and senior years in high school, he moved to Swannanoa, NC. After his senior year of high school, he enrolled at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. 

After finishing college, Zirkle began to coach the women’s team at Guilford. The next season Zirkle was able to be the assistant coach for the men’s team at Guilford. While Zirkle was the assistant coach, Guilford defeated teams like Ohio State, Dartmouth, and even Duke in 1984. 

In 2005, Zirkle became the head coach at East Chapel Hill High School. While Zirkle was the coach there, they were able to go to the state championship for three years and won one state championship. 

In 2011, Zirkle decided to start his own travel lacrosse program for the Triangle area — the Carolina Hilltoppers. He was able to use his experiences to assemble talented coaches and players.

Franklin Zirkle At LRHS

Since joining the LRHS program, Zirkle’s teams have won and competed for conference championships every season and have made it as far as the quarterfinals of the playoffs. 

Gabe Ellsworth, a senior defenseman at LRHS, said, ”He gave lacrosse a positive impact because he was willing to put in the work on his own time to then come to practice to make the team and each individual team better.” 

Ellsworth says that Zirkle was able to give back to his community and at the same time he was able to come to practice and make a positive impact. 

Mac Crocker, a freshman at LRHS who is planning on trying out for the lacrosse team, said, “When I heard Zirkle was retiring I was pretty sad because I’ve heard such good things about him as a coach.” Crocker almost expresses that he feels let down not getting the chance for Zirkle to be his coach.

Coach Franklin Zirkle is retiring as head coach at Leesville after 7 years, leaving behind a great legacy that new coaches should model when coming to LRHS. 


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