MacLaughlin, Troxell take over as Tiger head coaches
If the weather cooperates, this week will bring the start of the varsity sports season at Northwestern.
It could also mark the first regular season action for two Tiger new head coaches.
Mike MacLaughlin, a former head track coach at Catasauqua, takes over Northwestern's boys track program this year, while Carey Troxell begins his varsity head coaching career at the helm of the Lady Tiger softball team.
"I was lucky enough to have Northwestern give me an opportunity at JV," said Troxell, who guided the Tiger junior varsity team last season. "And then this opened up. I don't think anyone expected it."
Troxell takes over for Jen Horner, who stepped down after 12 seasons as the Lady Tiger mentor.
Troxell coached two daughters who both played four years of softball and was an integral part of the softball scene.
"I was president and director of the softball program in Northern Lehigh for most of the middle 1990s," he said. "After my daughters went away to college I helped my niece at South Parkland."
When Troxell took a job at Lehigh County Career and Technical Institute it allowed him the time to pursue a high school head coaching position. After running the JV team last year, Troxell is excited to get his first varsity season underway.
MacLaughlin takes over the boys track from Brian Xander, who stepped down after nine seasons.
MacLaughlin was head coach at Catasauqua from 1998-2006. He spent the last six years as an assistant at Northwestern.
A former middle distance runner at Catty, MacLaughlin was influenced by coached like Will Strein, the founder of the school's track program, as well as his father, Dick MacLaughlin, a member of the Catty Basketball Hall of Fame who was the distance coach during Mike's high school career.
"I always looked up to Will Strein," Mike MacLaughlin said. "My dad coached with him. I always wanted to be a head track coach. Fortunately [Northwestern athletic director] Jason Zimmerman gave me the opportunity here."
MacLaughlin also respects Northwestern's legacy of success in track and field. He's honored to be taking over a program that has enjoyed great leadership.
"Its great for me to be following in the steps of past track coaches Tim Carey, Gary Williams and Bob Horner," MacLaughlin said.
MacLaughlin looks forward to working with the Tiger sprinters and is excited that the team drew 148 participants for boys and girls combined.
"The numbers are certainly there," he said.