Q&A: Girls’, boys’ soccer coaches win coach of the year

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Graphic Liza Armstrong

Both the boys' and girls' soccer coaches were awarded coach of the year awards. Scott Tagart, the girls' coach, won the CMASS DI Coach of the Year, and Ken Morin, the boys' coach, won the Mid-Wach A League Coach of the year.

Amy Sullivan, Assistant Sports Editor

Jonny Ratner
After winning the Central Mass. Division One championship, senior Megan Keller poses with coach Scott Taggart. Taggart was honored as 2019 coach of the year for Central Mass.

Scott Taggart: Girls’ soccer

Girls’ soccer coach Scott Taggart received his first Central Mass Division One Coach of the Year award after an outstanding and memorable 2019 season. He won this award against nine other coaches. Taggart accepted the award on behalf of John Clifford and Scott Moy, the assistant coaches of the varsity team. 

How did you find out about this award?

“There was a voting mechanism that went out to all the coaches and there were choices that coaches throughout the divisions could vote and so I didn’t know the result of the vote until the banquet.”

Were all the coaches from the nine teams in the running for the award?

“Actually, there are two divisions, there’s the MID-WACH A and the MID-WACH B, and the A and the B choose a representative of the league, and then it was decided between the A and the B. Actually, all of the coaches were able to vote for the different divisions.”

What made this season different from other seasons you have coached in the past?

“Well, all of the seasons have their own unique characteristics. This season was definitely one where the senior leadership that we had was just fantastic. The eight seniors that were part of our varsity team were second to none. They led the team and kept everybody’s focus where it needed to be and definitely demonstrated our values and they were just outstanding.”

How do you feel about being coach of the year?

“It’s a nice honor to have but you also understand that soccer is a game, it’s a players’ game, and you have to have the players in order to be successful on the field. I certainly recognize that, so I really give the credit to them.”

What do you think this award symbolizes?

“I think it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of time, but also a lot of enjoyment and its kind of a combination of all the years that I’ve been at Algonquin, and with it being my last, it was a nice tribute to receive.”

What coaching style helped you obtain this award?

“It really hasn’t changed very much from the very first year that I started coaching at Algonquin. We basically coach each year with our core values and respect being number one, and when you demonstrate respect to the players, and there is respect player to player, player to coach, it really shows everyone is on the same page and all are just trying to achieve the same goals, team goals. It’s all about the team.”

What are your plans for next fall?

“I certainly am not going to be a head coach anywhere, that’s for sure. I’ll be watching some games and out and about and also probably spending more time at home, and kicking back a little bit.”

How does it feel to be your last year coaching the girls’ soccer team at Algonquin?

“I can say this, that some of the best times of my entire life has been on those fields with the kids. I will miss that but I also understand that sometimes it’s good to have a change and change for me and a change for the program as a whole, but it was really the best. I’ll certainly cherish all those memories.”

Courtesy Jeff Slovin
Boys’ soccer coach Ken Morin discusses team strategy during a break in the game on Nov. 6 vs. Westborough. Morin won 2019 coach of the year for the Midland Wachusett league.

Ken Morin: boys’ soccer

After a great 2019 season, boys’ soccer coach Ken Morin was awarded the MID WACH A league Coach of the Year, adding to his three or four other awards throughout the last 20 years. He won the award against 17 or 18 other coaches that were in the running. This award was decided at the coaches meeting at the end of the season. 

What made this season different from other seasons you have coached in the past?

“I think what was interesting about this group was that this was a fairly young group of guys, in that I only had six seniors on the team, and so the majority of the guys who played on a regular basis were sophomores and juniors. It was kind of cool in the regard that they were really willing to listen and learn and go about new and different strategies that we’ve had in the past.”

How do you feel about being coach of the year?

“I think it’s a reflection of the guys on the team more than it is about the coach. I think maybe the reason that I was even thought of for this particular award is because everyone realized I had a really young team, and maybe didn’t expect the quality and the style of play that we were able to produce with such a young team. I think it reflects more on the players than it does a coach.”

What do you think this award symbolizes?

“I think it symbolizes a great atmosphere within the team that all the players were willing to listen and learn and work together and in the end I think that produces quality and its obvious on the field and so for me it symbolizes a great team culture. It’s a great group of guys. It was a great group of guys this year, I’m really looking forward to working with them again next season because so many of them come back.”

What coaching style helped you obtain this award?

“I think that I like to work with the players. I like to listen to what they have to say and how they feel like playing. I feel like although it’s my program, it’s their team, and so I like to listen to their input. I listen to the captains in the offseason and their thoughts going forward and try and incorporate their ideas into the things that we really want to do because if the players are happy, then they’re going to put in a better effort and they’re going to work harder. They’re going to feel like they have ownership in what they’re doing and that produces better results than trying to be a coach that dictates everything that goes on.”

What are your plans for next fall?

“Well, I’m hoping that we can continue to move forward. It was a great learning year this year. We got pretty far in the league and Central Mass and I’m hoping that because 10 of the 11 starters are coming back, and 21 players are coming back, that we can just keep building on what we were doing and move forward rather than having to start over. I’m hoping that we can improve on the good results we had this year.”