QUOTE "I think it is set up well for us for continued success in the future. It will be fun to watch from a little bit different perspective."— Blue Raiders head coach John BroseFor 13 years …
"I think it is set up well for us for continued success in the future. It will be fun to watch from a little bit different perspective."
— Blue Raiders head coach John Brose
For 13 years John Brose has been at the helm of one of the most successful soccer programs in the state. Tuesday, in a team meeting after school, Brose informed the Blue Raiders he is stepping down as their leader.
"I decided to step away. It's a really tough decision. It is something I have thought and prayed about for a long time. It's (coaching CHS soccer) something that has played a huge part in my life and I consider myself blessed to have been doing it for this long," said Brose, who will remain at CHS in his current position as AP Human Geography and World History teacher. "The relationships I have been able to make along the way with players, parents and other coaches has just been tremendous. I consider myself extremely blessed for sure. God is good," said a humble Brose.
The coach is handing the keys to assistant coach Miles Christian, who has been with the club for three years as a Raiders assistant and head coach of the Lady Raiders soccer team for the same length of time.
"It's very exciting. There are a lot of good things always around this program," said Christian. "To be able to step in and follow a guy like this is truly an unbelievable opportunity. I will be staying with the girls. My plan is to coach the girls in the fall and follow up with the guys in the spring.
"I want to thank John for bringing me on as an assistant and for giving me a chance as a young coach," he continued. "He is partly the reason I am at Cleveland High School. To be able to follow him is going to be very difficult, but I'm excited because he has set me up nicely for sure."
While heading up the Blue Raiders program, Brose garnered an impressive 169-82-26 record. In 2008 the team went to the state tournament quarterfinals and finished fifth in the state. In 2009 Cleveland was 20-1-3 during the regular season and went to the semifinals, finishing No. 3 in the state and 28th in the nation.
Then in 2017, the Raiders were 21-1-2 again reaching the quarterfinals and finishing No. 3. Under Brose, Cleveland has won eight district 5-AAA championships and five Region 3 titles, the latest coming this season. They have been to the state tournament three times.
He said the decision was not an easy one, but he feels it is time to spend more time with a growing family. He still however, has plans to make his presence known around the program.
"Ultimately what it came down to for me was, I have four children at home ages 9, 7, 4 and 2. I miss them a lot (during the season). It's time for me to be dad," he explained.
"I'm not leaving Cleveland High School. My oldest son in named Rader. He's going to be here someday. This is a place I truly love and it's been good to me," Brose said. "I am turning into the No. 1 supporter of Cleveland High School soccer for sure. I'm really excited to see where it continues to go.
"Coach Christian is going to do a fantastic job. I've got no doubt in that whatsoever," Brose added. "He's an outstanding young coach. He gets what it takes to run a program and he will build the team. It makes this decision easier knowing I am handing it over to someone I really trust to do a great job."
Christian will be taking over a team that, after a rough beginning, turned the season around and finished 2019 with 12-9-1 record winning the District 5-AAA and Region 3 championships.
"He (Brose) has done such a fantastic job of getting us where we need to be for a successful soccer program. We've had a freshman team that was successful, a junior varsity team that was successful and a varsity team that was successful," he said. "We are losing nine guys, but we have a strong junior class. We have a talented sophomore class and some freshmen who fit in nicely as well. It's just kind of a revolving door of good players, it seems like. There is talent still coming this way for sure."
Christian also said the transition should be a relatively smooth one for for himself and the team since they have known one another for the last three years. Still, he anticipates there will still be a few growing pains, but but nothing a team with a boatload of returning skilled players cannot overcome.
"Obviously, with every change there is some type of challenge. But, with our junior class, after going through this year, they all understand what it takes to be a successful team. I anticipate we won't have to go through that early (transition) bump in the road. But, then again you never know high schoolers. So, we'll see," he said through a smile. "But, I'm excited with this crew of guys. I think we can be something really special next year. I think they understand that, too."
It is the returning talent that also played a major role in Brose's determination to make a change now as interest in the program at an all-time high.
"We've got a lot of guys coming back. That is part of it, too. The program is in a healthy place right now. There is huge interest in it in terms of guys playing. We had 57 guys in the program this year," he said. "I think it is set up well for us for continued success in the future. It will be fun to watch from a little bit different perspective."
Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE
Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE
We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.
If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.
Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE