The Squalicum girls’ soccer team six months from now will begin its quest for a third consecutive state championship, but the Storm will be doing it without coach David Kish.
Squalicum athletic director Patrick Brown said in a phone interview on Tuesday, March 29, that Kish has decided to step down.
Kish, a math teacher at Squalicum High who has led the girls’ soccer program the past eight years, is leaving his coaching post to pursue an educational administration certification.
“It was incredibly hard,” said Kish of deciding to leave the program. “I care about the team, and mentally I care about all the players, and it’s a great group of seniors that have been with me for three years. I had to make a decision for myself, where usually everything I do is for them. It was super hard, but at the same time I know it’s right for me and my family.”
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Kish took over the girls’ program in 2008 after serving as an assistant for two years. Brown credited him for implementing a strong culture while offering tremendous leadership.
Kish led the Storm to a 126-35-8 record during his time, and the last four seasons the program really took off. Squalicum finished fourth in state in 2012, placed third in 2013, and the last two seasons the Storm won state titles while owning a 46-0-1 record.
When Kish took over, Squalicum hadn’t reached state in four years, and the coach made a point to his girls that change was in order.
“First thing I did with the varsity team is we walked into the gym, and I pointed to the wall, and said, ‘There is not a single plaque for girls’ soccer,’” Kish said. “There was boys’ soccer, basketball, not for girls’ soccer. And I said, ‘We need to change that.’”
Kish and the girls who’ve come through his program have done just that.
“I think it starts with his vision for the program” said Brown when asked what made Kish such a success. “You can have all the talent in the world, but success depends on the culture of the team. You walk into the program and there’s all the talented players you have, but there are no egos. They don’t care about individual success, they care about the success of the team, and that starts with David.”
Brown said he is still processing Kish’s departure and in the coming weeks he will meet with assistant coaches and players do determine his next course of action. Kish wanted to thank Brown and the players he’s coached and their parents for all their support.