Coaching change for Basalt boys soccer |

Coaching change for Basalt boys soccer

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jim Ryan/Special to The Aspen TimesBasalt head soccer coach John McDermott celebrates with his players following a recent road win.

BASALT – John McDermott, the colorful and often unorthodox Basalt head soccer coach who guided the Longhorns to four consecutive playoff appearances and two league titles in four-plus seasons at the helm, was let go Tuesday.

Both McDermott and school athletic director Ralph Smalley declined to divulge reasons for the termination, which comes with four games remaining in the 2010 regular season.

Basalt junior varsity coaches Jackie Vosler and Brent Hayes will share head coaching duties for the remainder of this season, then the school will begin the search for a full-time replacement, Smalley confirmed in a telephone interview Wednesday.

“We’re sorry to see [McDermott] go,” Smalley said. “We really appreciate everything he has done. He’s created such a strong program here at the school, and it’s unfortunate we have to part ways at this point in time.”

In 2006, McDermott inherited a program that had averaged 13 wins in the previous five seasons and had last lost a conference game on Oct. 1, 2002.

The native of Nottingham, England’s unique training techniques – from the early-morning yoga sessions and drills patterned after rugby to pre-game speeches in which he quoted Winston Churchill – were a departure from those of his predecessor, Erik Streff.

But the Longhorns continued to win.

In 2006, thought to be a rebuilding year because the new coach was breaking in nine new starters, the Longhorns finished 12-4 and missed out on a trip to the state semifinals by the slimmest of margins; they surrendered an own goal in a 1-0, quarterfinal loss to then-No. 2 Colorado Academy.

They lost by the same margin in the quarterfinals a year later to then-No. 2 Kent Denver. Basalt returned to the quarters last fall, losing to state runner-up Denver Christian, 4-1.

The Longhorns, who boast a roster overflowing with young talent, are currently 7-2-1, good for second place in 3A Region 3.

“I had a great time, a beautiful time,” said McDermott, who was conspicuously absent from Tuesday’s game, a 7-0 win over Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale.

“I love those kids, and they love me. … I miss them already. They’re going to be a great team.”

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