Athletics department announces new boys soccer head coach

Maddie Davis

Senior Matt Kelly goes after the ball in the Hickman - Rock Bridge game on Nov. 2. Photo by Drew Rogers
April 23– U.S. studies teacher and former boys soccer assistant coach Alex Nichols officially replaced Kyle Austin as the team’s head coach, according to a press release sent by RBHS athletics director Jen Mast. Even after being a part of the soccer program at RBHS for three years, Nichols was not sure if  he would attain the job as head coach.
“I was hopeful. I think I felt like I had been part of the program for the past three years now, so I think I had an outlook on things that had made us successful,” Nichols said. “Kyle’s put together a really good program, and I think it’s something I’ve been fully a part of, and so I saw all the back workings and all the things that made the program a success, and so I hope that I would be given the opportunity to continue that.”
Besides being an assistant coach for three years now, Mast attributes Nichols love of soccer and ease with students to his new job.
“We want someone who’s good with kids, someone who obviously has a good knowledge of soccer, one who can represent the school and the program well,” Mast said. “We had some good candidates, and it took us a while to make the decision. I think in most cases, it always gives you a little bit of a leg up just in the fact that you know the program and you know the kids, and it helps with the transition”
Even with the change of coach, the team remains positive. Because of their success in past years with Austin, the team members believe Nichols will carry on the team’s prior successes.
“I don’t think it’ll change that much because Nichols has been here for all those winning seasons. He knows how the team has been working and how it does work,” junior soccer player Sam Brand said. “I mean most of the players know him  pretty well and know him to be kind of a strict teacher where you learn or you die, so you almost have to embrace new ways with Nichols, but you still learn.”
With some changes to the program, Nichols said the team has a chance to improve from last year. While combining his and Austin’s past methods, Nichols is ready for the 2012 boys soccer season to begin.
“I think it’s been good to see what [Austin] has done since I’ve been a part of the program, so I’ll be following in his footsteps,” Nichols said. “As with any coach, you’re always making adjustments, always trying to progress things, just like any time. Is there going to be adjustments and differences, yeah, but I’m still going be following in a lot of the same footsteps of what’s made the program successful for the past three years now.”
By Maddie Davis
additional reporting by Maddie Davis and Daphne Yu