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Head varsity soccer coach Rick Pribyl announces retirement

Head varsity soccer coach Rick Pribyl announced his retirement during a meeting with the soccer program today. Pribyl has coached at BVNW since the school’s opening in 1993.

Ben Johnson, Peter Educate

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Head varsity soccer coach announced his retirement in the Little Theatre during Husky Halftime.

Head varsity soccer coach announced his retirement in the Little Theatre during Husky Halftime.

Ellen Bruce

Ellen Bruce

Head varsity soccer coach announced his retirement in the Little Theatre during Husky Halftime.

Anna Cowden and Ethan Knauth

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Head varsity soccer coach and ELA teacher Rick Pribyl informed the soccer program of his retirement during Husky Halftime in the Little Theatre today. With a 2-1 loss in the regional final to Shawnee Mission Northwest today, Pribyl and assistant head coach Brian Murphy coached their last game as Huskies.

Before announcing his retirement, Pribyl told members of the soccer program they are in a comfortable position for success next year.

“You’ll find that next year the boys team is gonna be fantastic,” Pribyl said to his players. “Based upon the guys coming back, it’s tremendous. [On] the girls team we’ve got players on jv that are coming in and enjoying our group, and they’re going to be really good there.”

Pribyl thanked the players for the memories, and urged them to continue the sport.

“I have to retire, and you guys I have your memories with me and I thank you very much,” Pribyl said. “But you guys are great players. Don’t give up the sport, because it’s a part of you.”

Pribyl told BVNWnews the day following his announcement he decided to retire so he could spend more time with his family.

I want to spend more time with family,” Pribyl said. “It’s that time in my life to do that.”

Athletic Director Kevin Gerke said Pribyl is the not only the face of the soccer program, but the school itself.

“Kids love him,” Gerke said. “It’s a shame [how] things have turned out the way they have in terms of him having to retire, but ultimately he’s doing what’s best for him, what’s best for his family. We absolutely respect and appreciate that, and wish him nothing but the best.”

Varsity captain and junior soccer player Lindsay Collier told BVNWnews following Pribyl’s last game that she was not expecting him to retire.

“It’s sad,” the midfielder said, “because I thought it was just Murphy. They are such good, positive impacts on the team. They make girls soccer at Northwest fun.”

Pribyl won seven state championships as head coach, including a boys varsity state championship in 2016. The girls varsity soccer team finished with a 5-13 record this year, and the boys team finished with a 9-8 record for the 2017-2018 season.

When looking for Pribyl and Murphy’s replacements, Gerke said he will look for people to continue BVNW’s rich tradition and culture.

“We’re looking for someone who can come in and continue to build on that legacy that coach Pribyl and coach Murphy leave behind,” Gerke said. “We’ll get that process started here in the next day or so, and see what we can come up with. It’s certainly going to be someone who will hopefully continue what those two have started.”

Collier said the loss of Pribyl as head coach will result in a difficult transition period for the program.

“It’s definitely going to be a new environment next year, and it’s going to be hard to transition into a new season without him there,” Collier said. “He’s constantly helping us out on the field and giving us positive feedback.”

Pribyl said he will miss teaching in the BVNW ELA department.

“I’ll miss the intelligent conversations I had with AP seniors,” Pribyl said. “I’ll miss the overall color of Blue Valley Northwest.”

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Head varsity soccer coach Rick Pribyl announces retirement