Deep Run football coach Chad Hornik always figured he would stop coaching when he was no longer capable of playing scout team quarterback.
But sometimes, life has other plans. Hornik, who was instrumental in revitalizing two local programs during the past decade, announced his retirement to his team at Tuesday’s practice.
“God put an amazing wife, Kathleen, and three beautiful daughters in my life, and I really wanted to spend more time with them,” Hornik said.
Deep Run (2-3) will host Mills Godwin on Friday to conclude its season.
The Wildcats went 11-1 in 2019, one of the best seasons in school history.
Hornik took over a Wildcats program in December 2015 that had gone 2-8, 1-9 and 3-7 the three previous seasons. He’s the longest-tenured coach at Deep Run and, with a record of 31-19, is the winningest coach in program history. Deep Run football’s first season was 2003.
Hornik spent four seasons at Thomas Jefferson (2012-15) when the Vikings went 9-37. He was named the Colonial District coach of the year in his first season there.
TJ was on a 41-game losing streak that went back to 2007 when Hornik took over in 2012. The Vikings snapped that in his first game at the helm with a 24-6 win over Colonial Heights. He also guided TJ to its first playoff appearance in 37 years.
With little funding available, Hornik — with the help of Thomas Jefferson alumnus Albert Negrin — got permission to start the Tee Jay Vikings Fund, a nonprofit booster organization.
The fundraising effort supported the school’s athletics and other improvements.
“It was kind of like this nonstop effort to bring the standard of the program to at least where the other schools in the region had their programs,” Hornik told The Times-Dispatch in 2019, as TJ completed the rebuilding he helped initiate.
Almost $245,000 was raised during Hornik’s tenure, he said. That money helped purchase new equipment, a weight room, lockers, blocking sleds, radio headsets, a scoreboard and an irrigation system.
“It’s tremendously rewarding to see that something you helped push in the right direction has continued to flourish,” Hornik said amid Thomas Jefferson’s 11-3 2019 season. “I’m just happy for the kids. … For those kids, it’s life-changing.”
Hornik is finishing his 20th season in coaching and 10th as a head coach. He spent eight years as an assistant at Douglas Freeman and Deep Run.
His three daughters, Stella, Siena and Vivian, are getting into or approaching their teenage years, and Hornik hopes to spend more time involved in their activities and sports endeavors.
“My girls love Friday night football and they really didn’t want me to retire, but they are excited that I will be around a lot more and active in their sports,” Hornik said Wednesday.
“I am really looking forward to this phase of life, but I know I am going to miss the game, the players and my coaches. The Deep Run parents and the community have been so supportive during my time at Deep Run and I thank them for trusting me with the honor of coaching their sons.”
Hornik added that he can still play scout team quarterback.