ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Head women’s soccer coach Carin Gabarra Has been awarded the Naval Academy Class of 1973 Heinz Lenz Fellow Award. This award recognizes the importance of leadership through Athletics Excellence as a contributor to the overall mission of the Naval Academy to develop midshipmen morally, mentally and physically. The recognition commemorates the Athletics Excellence pillar in honor and memory of Coach Heinz Lenz.
The son of the late Amalie and Frederick Walter Lenz, Lt. Cmdr. Lenz was born March 31, 1925, in Berlin, Germany, and came to the United States when he was age 15. He served in the Navy in World War II as an enlisted sailor and landed at Normandy in France on D-Day Plus 2 He joined the Naval Reserve and retired as a lieutenant commander. Lenz graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor of arts degree in modern languages in 1948 and earned a master of arts degree in physical education in 1949 at Columbia University.
Lenz taught at St. Mark’s College, a preparatory school in Dallas, Texas, before joining the faculty at the Naval Academy in 1957. In 1968, as a member of the physical education department, “Coach” Lenz developed “PEP,” a daily Exercise program for the incoming class of plebes. He continued to lead “PEP” until 1992 and retired from the academy in 1994.
He co-authored a book, “Fit for Life: The Annapolis Way.” In 1992 he was selected as one of the nation’s 10 Healthy American Fitness Leaders by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and the US Chamber of Commerce.
“I am extremely humbled to receive the Heinz Lenz Fellow Award and I want to extend my sincere thanks to the Class of 1973 for the award creation and to Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk for his unwavering support of our program,” said Gabarra. “Heinz Lenz is an icon at the Naval Academy and he believed deeply in the mission. His devotion to athletics was an important component for midshipmen development and coaches Rob Blanck, Mike Melton and I hope to serve our exceptional and driven athletes with the same passion, pride, and commitment as he did in his tenure.”
“This ongoing tribute to Coach Lenz, coupled with the generosity and historic sentiments of the Class of ’73, makes this distinction to an extraordinary educator on the NAAA staff most special,” said Gladchuk. Coach Lenz meant so much to so many over the years. His inspirational values remain embedded in the fiber of character development at the Academy. His qualities as a person and his legacy of influence are reflected in Coach Gabarra. History and traditions are so important to the physical mission at Navy and Carin covers that responsibility as well as anyone, with her humility, dignity, and unparalleled success.”
Gabarra has been the head women’s soccer coach at the Naval Academy since the program started in 1993 (29 seasons). She has compiled a record of 362-164-58 and is the Patriot League’s all-time wins leader. Her 362 wins rank 40th in the history of NCAA Division I women’s soccer and are the 17th-most wins among active coaches.
Gabarra has been named Patriot League Coach of the Year five times and has led the Mids to five NCAA Tournaments (2003, 2006, 2007, 2009 and in the 2020-21 covid year). Women’s soccer student-athletes have won 31 Patriot League Major Awards (offensive, defensive, midfielder, goalkeeper or rookie of the year) and 21 have been named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, including at least one in each of the last seven years.
In the spirit of Coach Lenz’s total commitment to the development of young people in becoming Leaders of Great Character, the recognition appoints a current varsity or club coach to the Coach Heinz Lenz Chair. The appointment will be for a two-year term, consideration for one additional two-year term. This distinction may extend additional leadership and/or administrative opportunities, and is founded by the Class of ’73 with an annual stipend for her meritorious achievement.
In addition, the Navy Women’s Soccer Program will receive supplemental margin of excellence funding through the generosity of the Class of 1973.
The coach selected for this distinction will be the head coach or an assistant coach of a non-revenue sport (varsity or club). The coach should epitomize Coach Lenz’s leadership qualities and attributes, to include (but not be limited to): a keen sense of integrity; competitive team spirit; commitment to the Naval Academy mission; a joy and passion for his/her profession; and an expectation to win on the field and in life. Men’s rugby head coach Gavin Hickie was the inaugural winner in 2020.