Boys soccer head coach leaves despite success

Daphne Yu

Senior Matt Kelly prepares to kick the ball while dodging his oppoenent. Photo by Kira Lubahn
After taking the boys soccer team to the final four two years in a row, head coach Kyle Austin resigned.
He will take with him six years of coaching experience at Rock Bridge – two as assistant head coach and four as head coach – to St. Louis, where his family resides now.
“My wife got promoted to a job that forced her to move to St. Louis with our child, so she’s been living there for ten months,” Austin said. “I stayed on this year because I made a commitment to coach and to teach. But the end of the day, my job as a teacher is a little more flexible.”
Once reunited with his family in St. Louis, Austin plans to continue teaching, but he wants to take a few years off before he begins coaching a team again. The decision for him to resign was not an easy one, seeing that he had a bond with the soccer team, Austin said.
However, once he begins coaching again, one thing he does not look forward to is meeting the Bruins on the field.
“If we play against Rock Bridge, it’ll definitely be tough,” Austin said. “This is where I got my first chance to coach. We’ve had a lot of success here and I’ve coached a lot of good kids. I feel like this is my home.”
For Austin, home is the place where his team earned a first place ranking in the state, where he boasted a 19-streak win this past season and a third place finish at state two years in a row. However, Austin said, the best part of his coaching experience is off the field.
“The last two seasons have just been special just in how much success we’ve had,” Austin said. But “the fondest memories I’ll have are just the ones where we weren’t doing soccer related stuff. Just the goofy stuff [the team] would do always made me laugh. They were such good, compassionate, caring kids.”
The hiring process for a new coach began three weeks ago. Applications were due last Friday, but the staff will continue accepting late submissions. Interviews will follow.
“We decided we won’t interview until after spring break.” athletics director Jennifer Mast said. They will decided on the new head coach “hopefully by the end of the week after spring break, ideally.”
Austin has coached junior Eli Sherman on the soccer team for the past two years, giving Sherman some of his best soccer memories of reaching the final four both years.
“I’m a little nervous because I obviously don’t know who the coach is. I got to know Kyle really well, and I liked being coached by him,” Sherman said. “So I’m just anxious to see who’s going to be the next coach.”
By Daphne Yu