By Rubin E. Grant
Homewood boys soccer coach Sean McBride wasn’t about to take sole credit for being named the 2018 Spring South Region High School Coach of the Year by the United Soccer Coaches.
In fact, he pointed to his players.
“The award is recognition to all players, past and present, for bringing five state titles to Homewood High School and the city,” McBride said. “This past team finished No. 5 in the nation, and that is a testament to their passion, determination and dedication to the sport and the school.”
McBride guided the Patriots to a 24-0-2 record in 2018 as they claimed the Class 6A soccer championship. During the season, Homewood recorded 20 shutouts and allowed only nine goals.
The championship was the fifth in school history and the Patriots’ first since 2014.
“This award comes down to the hard work of the kids on that (2018) team,” McBride said. “They bought in to an idea and kept it going all season. I do feel very honored to receive such an award, but I know there are many others deserving of it as well.”
The award will be presented at the annual High School Coaches Breakfast on Jan. 12 at the Marriott Marquis Great Lakes Ballroom in Chicago. The breakfast is being held in conjunction with the 72nd United Soccer Coaches Convention. But McBride won’t be there to receive it in person.
“I am not going to go to Chicago,” McBride said. “I have decided that, with soccer season starting soon, and that weekend is my son’s 10th birthday and because I miss so many family things when the season starts, I want to be with them.
“My twins will be freshmen at the high school next year, and then my 12-year-old is playing ECNL at BUSA (Birmingham United Soccer Association) and traveling all over. Things get crazy during the season. I’ve spent most of my life coaching and watching other people’s kids, and it’s time I enjoyed my own.”
United Soccer Coaches honors national and regional coaches of the year with a plaque and recognition during the annual convention.
To qualify for this award, a coach must be a member of United Soccer Coaches, as well as have a successful record for that season.
In addition, the coach should exhibit the following: knowledge of the game (rules, systems, coaching philosophy), rapport with the team (respect of the players), team image (team conduct, style of play, performance), conduct on the field (positive behavior), involvement in local, state and/or national coaching organizations (meetings, committees), outside involvement (clinics, camps, conventions), community involvement (leagues, banquets), rapport with other coaches (cooperative, considerate), rapport with officials, and relationship with media (cooperative, considerate).