Rio history teacher William Taylor was announced the men’s varsity soccer coach. This was after a two week span of the school executives searching for the right person for the job.
The Raiders will be rebounding off of a semi-final loss to River Valley in the section playoffs next year.
Taylor will have big shoes to fill though. Former coach Alan Posner’s teams reached the playoffs for all of the past five years.
Coach Taylor hopes that the returning players will adapt to the change in leadership. “A lot of players were comfortable with the old coach and thought he was successful,” said Taylor.
He has experience in coaching championship teams. He has led the women’s varsity soccer team to back-to-back section titles with high hopes for a three-peat this spring.
“We have had fantastic athletes on both genders but there are expectations for the girls to dominate and they have to play hard every single game,” Taylor stated.
If that attitude carries over to the men’s team, the Raiders could see themselves atop the section after a three year span of losing in the semi-finals.
Taylor is focused on more than just short-term results. “I want to see improvements with the players and the team throughout the season. I want all players on all levels, even freshman and JV, to buy into a system that will work for more than one year,” said the newly appointed coach.
As one of the few on-campus coaches, Taylor will be able to easily hold his roster more academically accountable. He teaches Honors World History and US History.
“The players have expectations on the field but more so in the classroom. I am a teacher first and a coach second,” he said.
Returning players are already elated with the appointment of the beloved history teacher, although many are saying that the atmosphere will be a lot different from the feeling of obligation that Alan Posner brought to the table.
“I am excited for a new experience with a new coach, but I will miss coach Posner because he taught me how to work hard,” stated junior Ahmadu Barrie.
William Taylor is hoping to quickly gain the respect as a coach from returning players such as Barrie.
“I hope they see me as dedicated, knowledgeable, and hardworking,” said the coach.
The Raiders have an exciting year ahead of them with an open-minded coach like Taylor and returning players including sophomore Hunter Brown and goalkeeper Randall Rude leading the way. The dynasty that has been Rio soccer will be looking to be crowned champions once again next year.
“When I got this offer, I just couldn’t pass it up,” stated coach Taylor.