St. Joseph-Ogden High School will need a new soccer coach for the 2020 season.
Dan Vogelsang has resigned from the position after four seasons coaching the Spartans, compiling a 31-33-8 record.
Superintendent Brian Brooks told the school board on Wednesday night that the situation was unfortunate.
“We all appreciate what he did and did for our program,” Brooks said. “The way it ended is not the way it is supposed to end. I just think it is unfortunate that Dan felt the need to resign.”
Brooks said what has been overshadowed during the situation that saw numerous parents of soccer athletes lodge complaints against Vogelsang regarding how he was running the program, was that Vogelsang contributed many positives.
“You hate to see a person feel the need to resign when his heart is 100 percent in the right place — with the kids, with the school and the program,” Brooks said.
Brooks said it is to be expected that parents and fans would have opinions on how coaches run programs, but he didn’t feel all of the criticism leveled at Vogelsang was fair.
“He was out there for kids, he was out there for the SJO soccer program and our school,” he said. “He is a really good person and a really good human being.”
Brooks said he had concerns that parents complaints would cause a coach to resign. Brooks said it is difficult to find coaches for high school sports.
“No one at the high school level coaches for the money,” he said. “They do it for the love of the game and the love of kids. A lot of people fail to remember that. It is a real slippery slope we are going down with that.”
Brooks said he expects finding a coach to replace Vogelsang will be a challenge.
“We will do everything we can to try and find that person because we want to have a great soccer program for our kids,” he said.
Brooks said the district is concerned with the culture of the soccer program and will be working to address that issue.
“The culture of our soccer program is not real positive right now,” he said.
Brooks said he has noticed a change in the program within the last five years. Brooks was principal when the program was started in 2009 and said it was one of the most positive programs with an outstanding culture early on.
“You would go to games and everyone was excited to be there, win or lose,” he said.
Brooks said even when the program had losing seasons, it was still a positive experience for the kids. Brooks said he doesn’t know what changed the culture shift, but said the administration is working on ways to address it.
“We need to find a way to come together and make it positive for the kids,” he said. “This was a really good and positive program for our school. We have had some tough years over the last five years. It hasn’t been as positive an experience as we want our student-athletes to have. We need to find a way to fix that.”