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Lorkovic announces retirement from Saint Albert

By Katie Flanagan

on July 13, 2020

Saint Albert Catholic Schools announces the retirement of its winningest head boys varsity soccer coach: Hall of Famer Tom Lorkovic.

Lorkovic led the Falcons to seven state appearances, all in the last 13 seasons. He spent 18 years as the program’s head coach and one as a co-head coach, compiling a sparkling record of 228-148 (.606). His teams reached double figures in wins in 16 of his 19 seasons.

Saint Albert earned three top-four finishes at state under Lorkovic, placing second in 2009 (a 1-0 loss to Iowa City Regina in the Class 1-A title match), and fourth in 2010 and 2015.

“I would like to thank Saint Albert Schools for the opportunity to coach high school soccer and various other sports at the grade-school and middle-school level over the past 30 years,’’ Lorkovic said. “Coaching soccer was my passion and dream job. I would like to thank my wife and family, who gave me the support over the years to follow my dream. It was a gift for me to coach both of my sons at Saint Albert and to have them come back after college and be assistant coaches.’’

The 1971 graduate of Saint Joseph/Paul VI Catholic High School in Omaha is tied for seventh on Iowa’s all-time coaching list with his seven state appearances. Saint Albert is tied for 12th in the state record books with its nine state appearances in all.

In 2011, Lorkovic was inducted into the Iowa High School Soccer Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Des Moines. He’s currently one of 30 members in that exclusive group.

Twice he was named to coach in the East-West All-Star Cup, which features the state’s top players, in 2004 and 2009.

To the 500 plus players I have coached and mentored, thanks for the memories and good times we shared. One of my goals was to install a positive attitude and make an impact in your lives. The players were the ones who were on the oars and did the work it took to be successful, I was there to steer the ship. To the players, I will see you at the alumni games. As always, I will have your back!

“He was a good coach that supported us, on and off the field,’’ said Gavin McIntosh, who will be a senior at Saint Albert this fall. “Coach had high expectations of how we represented ourselves, our team, our school and our families. He was dedicated to the program for many years and helped build a strong foundation for our team.’’

McIntosh said Lorkovic stressed to his players to be well-rounded student-athletes.

“He wanted us to be leaders, on and off the field, and prepare for adulthood and life after soccer. He always expected us to set a good example for the younger kids. He will be greatly missed.”

Lorkovic contributed to the growth of the sport in many other areas. He officiated for 16 years with FIFA and eight years with the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. He worked with numerous soccer clubs and associations during the past 32 years, and also on state advisory committees and ratings committees to further advance the sport.

“I would like to thank all of the assistant coaches I have had the pleasure of working with and mentoring over the past 20 years, also the student managers and trainers who did a lot of behind-the-scenes work,’’ Lorkovic said. “It is very difficult for me to give up coaching at Saint Albert. I enjoyed the 20 years of my life spent with the school and the soccer program, but life moves on and it was time turn to the page.’’

Over the past twenty years I tried to do things the right way, never bending to the pressure to win at all costs. The players had to earn their starting positions and playing time. I never played favorites. I hope they became better people because of it.

When one door closes, another one opens. God has blessed me over the years with the chance to meet and work with a lot of good people during my coaching career. It has been a good ride, hopefully the book isn’t finished and the final chapters are still to be written.

I think you have to be what you are, be yourself at all times.

See you on the pitch!

Thanks + God Bless:

Coach Tom Lorkovic