For Samuel Din, who has played field hockey for a quarter-century and has spent the last seven years looking for a head coaching job, thesearch is over.
Din will get his chance this fall with the field hockey team at Wilde Lake High School.
He replaces Terry Smith, who stepped down after seven years. Smith guided the Wildecats into the regional playoffs six times.
"He (Din) is very enthusiastic, very knowledgeable, and we're very excitedabout him," said Carol Satterwhite, Wilde Lake's athletic director.
"Field hockey is one of those sports where you can't just put a warm body out there," she said. "You've got to know the skill and the strategy involved."
Din, 44, is a native of Pakistan who lives in Columbia and works as a machinist at C. R. Daniels in Ellicott City.
Din coached the junior varsity at Atholton High last year and brings rich credentials to his first coaching position.
He played 10 years of high school and college hockey in Pakistan.
From 1970 to 1976, he played on the team representing Punjab, a Pakistani province. Punjab won two national championships in those seven years.
Din came to the United States in 1984, when he settled in Columbia.
Din still plays -- he was part of the New York team that competed in lastfall's John F. Kennedy Memorial Field Hockey Tournament in Washington, D.C.
He has wanted to be a head
coach since he came to the United States.
"I'll try my level best to win the championship, butevery game needs a lot of time (for teaching)," Din said.
"New players cannot be masters. I've been playing for 25 years and I'm stillnot a master. I've got to teach them in two months.
"I can go over the basics -- drive and hit, stop the ball, make long passes, but Ineed time," Din said.
Coaching more-experienced varsity players will give him an advantage that he didn't have with junior varsity players, who are often new to the sport, he said.
"One thing I know is these girls learn very quickly," he said.