Got an e-mail from Max Weber, an assistant soccer coach at Walla Walla Community College, saying that Chad Bodnar will be named the NWAACC women's coach of the year after leading the Warriors to their second straight NWAACC championship.
It's about time.
Actually, I'm sure he has earned the honor before, but I haven't been able to track it down on the NWAACC website yet. I do know that Bodnar has been the East Region coach (or co-coach) of the year for five of the last six seasons and has an overall record of 133-6-5 since he took over the women's program in 2005.
So here's what I'm wondering: Why hasn't he been snatched up by some up-and-coming four-year college around the Pacific Northwest?
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I'm sure his time will come. But for now he seems to love what he's doing.
In a lot of ways he reminds me of his old high school coach at Pasco, Sean Esterhuizen. Sean grew up in the game and really knows his X's and O's, as they say. He also had a gift for leading people, and that's what Chad has. And like Sean at Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa, Chad has the tireless job of coaching both the men and women's teams.
Honestly, I don't know how he does it. I certainly don't have that kind of energy.
I'll never forget what Brittney Dugger, one of the best players I've ever seen to come out of this area in the last 10 years, said to me when she played for Bodnar in 2005. Duggar has had her share of outstanding coaches — not to mention former Richland coach Chris Smith and her father, too — but she told me that Bodnar was the best coach she had ever played for.
That impressed me. But I've been paying attention to what Bodnar has done out there at Walla Walla over the last 10 seasons. He started there as an assistant, but worked his way into the women's head coaching job in 2005 and immediately took them to the NWAACC title game. He hasn't missed one since.
Then he took over the men's program in 2007 and reached the NWAACC men's title game in 2008, winning his first championship that year. He took BOTH teams in 2009, a rare feat in NWAACC circles, and won his first women's title.
So if you haven't had a chance to see one of Chad Bodnar's teams in action, you'd better do it quick. I have a feeling that some smart college president will come along and make an offer he can't refuse.
And whichever school picks him up could be getting the deal of a lifetime.