September 7, 1961 – December 5, 2014
He was the quiet parent at the soccer field. Then the quiet assistant coach. During his tenure as a hockey coach his voice became gradually more audible and ultimately boomed as the girls’ lacrosse coach, modeling for them the importance of advocacy and determination. They would follow him despite their odds of winning or losing. He taught them that respect came not from how many times you won but how many times you lost and got back up.
A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Carl dedicated his life to volunteerism and had a deep commitment to inspiring our youth to give their very best regardless of their natural ability. He coached youth hockey, recreational soccer and lacrosse for the kids of Collierville.
The first year with Collierville Lacrosse was a challenge as the team worked to build their skills. In spite of accumulating losses, Carl persisted and insisted the girls did too. In 2014, the team had their first winning season under the direction of Coach Carl, resulting in attention from coaches of other very successful programs.
Carl spearheaded the creation of the Battle of the Greenbelt, a round-robin style tournament designed to bring teams around Tennessee and surrounding states to showcase lacrosse. The event raised awareness for girls’ lacrosse in the Midsouth. Carl personally setup and disassembled each day virtually alone. He managed the schedule and its complexities, all while still coaching his own two middle school teams. In 2014, he coached the two high school teams as well. After Carl passed, the Collierville Girls Lacrosse proposed a change in the name of the tournament. The event is now known as the “Carl Swearingen Memorial Battle on the Greenbelt.”
Carl Swearingen’s legacy will live on through the three wonderful children who were raised to be just as kind, generous and caring as he was and through the countless lives he touched through his dedication to youth sports. Carl inspired others to be better and do more than they thought they could. He accepted everyone regardless of their abilities. He could take any person, child or adult, and find a way for them to fit in. He was truly a mentor to all who met him. He lived his life as an example for others to follow. He loved his girls with a fatherly presence and the feeling was mutual.