This upcoming weekend will be a challenging one for the Bowdoin men's lacrosse team. They hope to advance to their third-ever NESCAC Tournament finals and earn a spot in the national collegiate tournament. It's even more important because it might be the last game for coach Tom McCabe. After 22 years as head coach, he will retire at the end of the season, as he and his wife will be entering the Peace Corps.

McCabe is leaving big shoes to fill. He is part of an elite club of only 17 D-III coaches who have won more than 200 games in their careers. He has won two Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championships, in 1993 and 2001, which is no small achievement. The ECAC has 186 member schools stretching from Maine to North Carolina, and McCabe's teams made it to the semifinals in almost every tournament since he came to Bowdoin in 1989.

McCabe knows success and he knows how to coach a team. Furthermore, his impact at the College is not restricted to just the lacrosse field. For a long time, he was a member of the football staff, coaching quarterbacks and the offensive backfield. Now, his life has taken him in a new direction—from sports to service.

Love for lacrosse initially motivated McCabe to become a coach, but over time, it was replaced by his focus on personal growth. An 18-year-old first year is vastly different from a graduating man of 22—four years can seem like an eternity. McCabe has always taken pride in his players and what they bring to Bowdoin because the College has always been supportive of him and his team.

I learned in conversation with McCabe that the popular mentoring program between Bowdoin students and Topsham middle schoolers was started by a lacrosse player. Russell Halliday '11 was a standout player for Bowdoin and, like McCabe, he is joining the Peace Corps. Jake McCampbell '11 has started his own business creating lacrosse pockets—the netting on the head of the sticks—in addition to volunteering as Bowdoin's goalkeeping coach. These are just two examples of the countless men who have gone on make names for themselves and make a difference after they played under McCabe.

Talking to McCabe, you learn that he is a religious man who believes in service and the common good. He credits his wife as a major influence, since her parents instilled a sense of generosity and service in her.

The McCabes will be stationed in Africa for their Peace Corps service starting in October, though they do not know where specifically yet. The couple has gone to Africa on service trips through their church and many years ago they spent a summer there, so this new chapter of his life isn't all that different. For the coach, the new venture is both exciting and frightening.

That's the thing about service and the common good. It's not always sunshine and rainbows, and when it isn't, it's hard to remember why you would put yourself through it. McCabe believes his vocation is now service and he is satisfied with retirement. That's great, and I wonder how many people in a similar situation would do the same thing. I'm not saying we should all run out and join the Peace Corps, but we should take time to examine our lives and see how satisfied and happy we are with our accomplishments as of now. If not, what can we do to change this? For McCabe, he feels that service is the logical step after mentoring scores of Bowdoin athletes.

At Bowdoin, one of our missions is the common good and how we can contribute to a positive future. It may seem cheesy and idealistic, but it's a lot harder than it sounds. We owe it to ourselves to do the right thing with the gifts and talents we have. Bowdoin students often get swept up in their own lives trying to secure a successful and lucrative future, but in our pursuit it's hard to be mindful of those who don't have the opportunities that we do.

McCabe has done a lot to inspire his team to get involved with the community, and now, after he leaves the College, it is our chance to follow his example and pursue the common good.