LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 6/18/15
The lacrosse world is mourning the loss of Summit High (N.J.) assistant coach Kyle Kirst, 47, a Huntington High grad who died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack.
Visitation will be held today from 4-8 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 111 Claremont Road, Bernardsville, N.J. Funeral Mass at the church is 12:30 p.m. Friday.
Kirst was a popular coach and teacher at Hanover Park High (N.J.) and for 10 years was the defensive coach at New Jersey power Summit, which won state Group titles in 2009-12 and 2014-15 and Tournament of Champions crowns in 2009-10.
Kirst was regarded as the key cog in a defense that for years was known as the state’s best unit and helped lead to a state-record 68-game winning streak from 2009-11. He also was a longtime assistant coach for Leading Edge Lacrosse under longtime friend Marc Moreau.
“Kyle has been my best friend, best teammate, best mentor, since the fall of 1986,” said Moreau. “We have lived within a 3-mile radius of each other for the last 20-plus years. Our families have grown up together. My children call him Uncle Kyle. His children call me Uncle Marc. We are family. We celebrate holidays together.
“Kyle coaches with love and heart. He is very knowledgeable. That is not why he is so effective. His players feel his passion and his love for them. You could be the stud of the team or not have much of a role at all but each got that same love, same amount of time encouragement and discipline.
“Kyle’s team is the only team i do not fret over who will be the assistant coach. He can handle a group of 20 odd boys on his own and run a more effective practice than a team with four coaches. We lost way more than just a coach. We lost our best friend, our best mentor, THE funniest comedian, our resident historian (he was a HS history teacher) the annointer of all nicknames.
“Kyle’s reach is long and far. From his time in the UK right after college to his many summers doing the camp circuit in New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland long before travel lax existed. Kyle left an impact on you whether you met him for 5 minutes or you have known him for 30 years.”
Kirst also served an assistant girls’ basketball coach at Hanover Park.
Kirst was a history teacher at Hanover Park, where he served as head coach of the lacrosse team before taking the job at Summit. He was a goalie on the men’s team at Rutgers.