Sports

Arand resigns as coach of South Whidbey girls soccer team

Paul Arand has resigned as South Whidbey’s girls head soccer coach.

“During the past two seasons, I seem to have lost the magic touch needed to produce a winning high school team,” Arand said in an e-mail, “so I think that it’s time that I pass the ball to someone else who can.”

South Whidbey athletic director John Patton was surprised by Arand’s resignation. Patton praised Arand’s commitment and talents as the head coach.

“I am very appreciative of Paul and his efforts for the past 12 years leading our girls soccer program,” Patton said. “He is a very knowledgeable coach who was dedicated to our program.”

Arand thanked notable all-state players Claudia Gil-Osorio, Willa Purser, Katie Watson, Kelsey Kimmel, Jenna Wild and Rita Jones. He credited the numerous players he coached during his tenure for the Falcons’ successes, including a 118-100 record, a conference title in 2003, district championships in 2000 and 2003, a third-place finish in the 2000 state tournament and a second-place finish in 2003. On the success of the 2003 season, Arand was also voted the conference coach of the year and The Herald’s coach of the year.

“I’d like to thank my wife and family for supporting me during this incredible journey,” Arand said. “I’d also like to thank the many parents and fans who helped me in my effort to support the girls.”

He also thanked the seven assistant coaches he worked with: Bill McCabe, Joel Gerlach, Mike Cotton, Jane Gerlach, Dana Hajduk, Katie Watson and Gary Peterson.

South Whidbey is searching for Arand’s replacement. Patton said he will interview applicants in June, and the position is already posted.

“We are hoping to have a coach in place before the school year ends.”

Patton said he anticipates the enthusiasm of the new coach to counter any transitional slumps.

“There’s always a transition that takes place,” Patton said. “But often times when you have a new coach heading a program, it brings in a new enthusiasm and excitement which often translates to more participants. I am confident that we will find a quality individual.”

South Whidbey’s former coach will continue to be part of the soccer community. He said he plays pickup soccer games and also volunteers with South Whidbey’s youth soccer teams.

“Having participated in many sports, I’ve been drawn to soccer because it mimics life,” Arand said. “It’s fluid, complex, social, and demanding. There is no other game on earth that requires such physical stamina, mental focus and skills training. Success in soccer stems from total team commitment and support.”

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