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Barlow Nurse Has the Coaching Bug

Annemarie Gorman knew she wanted to be a nurse as far back as grammar school. Coming from a family of nurses, she remembers as a child hearing her aunts tell stories about their jobs.

Gorman, the school nurse and varsity softball coach at Joel Barlow High School, graduated from the College of Mount St. Vincent in 1979. "I got a lot of good training because I was able to work at big hospitals," she said.

Thirty-one years later, she is still enjoying the profession she chose. "I love being with the kids, talking with them and having relationships with them. You form relationships with the kids beyond being sick. It's not always doom and gloom," she said.

Students often stop in her office during free periods to chat, and she still keeps in touch with former students and softball players who return to Barlow to catch up.

Gorman never expected she would become a varsity softball coach when she coached her daughter, now 27, on her kindergarten team. "When they're that little and they first start, they're always looking for volunteer coaches," she said. "I have always had a love of sports." She coached for a number of years, until her youngest daughter entered high school.

When she came to Barlow 10 years ago, it wasn't long before she saw another opportunity to get back into coaching. After her second year, she found out the school was looking for a junior varsity coach and jumped at the opportunity. "I really honestly thought that's where I'd stay -- I wasn't looking to move up," she said.

But a year later the assistant varsity coach went on maternity leave, giving Gorman a chance to move up. There she stayed for five years under two head coaches before earning the head coaching position. This year she led the team to the state Tournament, a feat the Barlow team hadn't accomplished in four years. "I think our team did very well for being so young." There were only two seniors and two juniors on the team this season. They ended the year with a 8-11 record.

"Gorman really never gave up on us. She always believed that we had a lot more potential than we'd been showing," said Kate Bodurtha, a senior captain of the team. "I think that having her believe in us and know that we could make states really had a positive impact on everyone's attitudes."

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