For 10 years, Paul Austin walked the sidelines at But that tenure is coming to an end as the Sachems boy’s soccer coach recently announced that he accepted a position to coach the next season.
On April 14, Austin handed in his resignation letter explaining his decision.
“Having open and honest communication and mutual trust is an important part of a successful team,” Austin wrote in the letter. “Players, coaches and parents should show respect for each other and work in a cooperative and collaborative way. After careful consideration, I am not confident that this environment exists with this team going forward. While no situation is perfect, I believe that the new coaching opportunity that awaits me is more in line with these criteria. I am confident that this is the right decision for me both on a professional and a personal basis.”
Athletic Director Brian Carroll said that replacing Austin would not be easy.
“I’m crushed that he’s leaving,” Carroll said. “He did a tremendous job with our program. He cared about the kids and we’ll miss him. He always gave everything he had and this is a big loss. This was the right move for him and we wish him luck.”
The Winchester soccer team is coming off its best season in over a decade, as the Sachems completed their first in school history. After earning the top seed, Winchester eventually lost to No. 2 in the Division II Finals.
“It’s definitely tough to leave,” Austin said. “You get to a point and I’ve done a lot with this program, but I’m looking for an opportunity to can start fresh.”
The Sachems will be returning 16 players from last year’s team.
“While I have been fortunate enough to experience success as a head coach, it is the memories of the players I have worked with that will forever stay in my mind,” Austin wrote in his letter. “Coaches are only as good as the players they coach and I have been blessed to work with some great athletes and more importantly great young men over the years."
Before coaching the boys’ team, Austin was an assistant coach for the Winchester girls’ program.
“I only switched to coaching boys when my son played,” Austin said. “It’s fun to be able to go back and coach the girls.”
The Spy Ponders were 3-11-1 last season and finished in fifth place in the league.
“Coach Austin left for the next challenge,” Carroll said. “He did a tremendous job here. The way he cared about our kids, I was so happy to work with him. It was just so great to see how our kids carried themselves under Austin. He’ll definitely be missed.”