Vincent steps down as girls soccer coach
A new coach will lead practices, coach in games and handle paperwork when the Basehor-Linwood girls soccer team kicks off the season in late February.
Jaclyn Naster, a former assistant, has been promoted to head coach. She is replacing Kevin Vincent, who is stepping down from coaching the team to spend more time with his family. Vincent plans to continue coaching the boys soccer program, but said the time was right to give up the girls program.
“My wife and I have a baby coming in April and it seemed like a good time to transition to her (Jaclyn),” Vincent said. “She and I have coached together since I took the program over five years ago. She knows what to do.”
Family is at the heart of Vincent’s decision.
“My wife has been very supportive of me through my coaching,” Vincent said. “I felt like now is the time to spend more time with the family. This seemed like a time when she needed me the most.”
Vincent cited the growth of the program as a highlight. He leaves the program after helping to grow the number of players on the team each season. The Bobcats had 18 players on the team in his first season. The team had 35 players last season.
In addition to growing participation levels, Vincent is also pleased with the number of players who earned scholarships to play soccer in college.
He also said coaching the players was enjoyable. While they were intense during games, sometimes their time spent preparing to play was a more relaxed atmosphere.
“Just working with the girls, they are every bit as intense and work as hard, but sometimes they have a little more fun going through things, things are a lot lighter,” Vincent said. “Come game time they are equally intense, but leading up to it they have fun at what they do.”
The different mentality between male and female athletes changed Vincent’s approach to coaching.
“Early on, we struggled as a team, I would yell more,” Vincent said. “That taught me that wasn’t the way to have success. Working hard but having fun is the key. That translated into the boys team as well. This year, during the boys season, I was able to reflect that we are out there to have a good time. It is funny, but when you start having more fun, that is when you start having success.”
The timing is right for Vincent to make a change.
“I have enjoyed coaching the girls and it is hard to give up, but the timing is right with a baby due in April,” Vincent said. “I knew that I could not put a whole lot of focus into it. I have a more-than-capable replacement that was ready and wanted to take that leadership role on.”
Naster is a familiar face at Basehor-Linwood High School. She teaches English at the school and is in her sixth year of teaching. She has a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Kansas and a masters degree from the school. She also has another masters degree from Fort Hayes State University.
She played soccer in high school at Blue Valley North and has coached club teams since graduating from high school.
In addition, she has assisted Vincent throughout his tenure and always wanted an opportunity to coach a program. Now, she is looking forward to the challenge.
“All I ever wanted was to have a girls program,” Naster said. “I am a little nervous because it is a big deal, but I am excited.”
Like a lot of coaches, the seeds of her desire to coach were planted as a player.
“I played soccer in high school. Once I started coaching I realized that I would enjoy taking a program,” she said. “Kevin and I have worked hard at building the program and hopefully we can go farther with it.”
Naster said she wants the players to have a positive experience playing soccer.
“My goal is that they walk away with something positive, not only in soccer but about life, helping them be better people and grow,” Naster said. “I want it to be a positive experience. I don’t want them to dread soccer season, I want them to be excited. I want them to walk away smiling. Always a relief when season is over because such hard work, but I want them to be like ‘Man, I don’t want the season to be over.’”
Basehor-Linwood lost a talented group of seniors last season, but she expects the players will be ready in time for this season.
“We didn’t lose a lot of quantity, but we lost some quality. We lost our leaders, but I think we will have a good turnout for soccer,” she said. “There is not a doubt in my mind the seniors we will have this year will step up to be the new leaders of the team.”