Two successful soccer coaches have stepped away from the East Bay Athletic League.
Matt Zahner has resigned as Monte Vista's boys soccer coach after nine seasons, and Chris Faidley has left the California boys team after seven seasons.
Zahner, who won EBAL and North Coast Section Division I titles in 2006 and 2007, had an overall record of 128-53-42 with the Mustangs. Zahner will be teaching full time at Athenian Middle School, and coaching the boys soccer team in the Fall and the girls in the Spring.
"What I'm looking forward to in my near future is doing better job of what I have left on my plate," Zahner wrote in an email. "A full time teaching job at The Athenian Middle School, coaching both their HS boys and girls soccer teams and being as good a husband and father as I can be."
Admittedly, leaving the players will be the hardest part for Zahner.
"They were the reason I was there and they allowed me a small connection to their lives," Zahner said. "Being around a group of high school boys as we compete together, as a kind of soccer family, was a joy. It's something I will always treasure."
Zahner's successor will be a familiar face as Jeff Kendall, a former assistant, will take over the program.
"Matt has been such a positive influence to everyone in the Monte Vista family and soccer community, that taking over for him will be a challenge," Kendall said. "Having coached here with him for more than six seasons, I hope that my familiarity with the program will make for a smooth transition and that I can be successful in carrying forward what he worked so hard to build."
Faidley, who is being replaced by Tyler Rosecrans, the junior varsity coach for the last two years, said the commute from Mountain House was becoming too taxing considering he has two young children at home.
"Maybe the most important lesson I've taught is to make family your priority," Faidley said. "I'll get to live that now by spending more time with my two sons and coaching closer to home."
Faidley went 92-43-32 at Cal, winning the EBAL title in 2011, and reaching the NCS finals in 2010. He will also miss the relationships he built.
"I'll miss this league's high level of play and competition," Faidley said. "But I'll mostly miss the Cal High personalities and work ethic. Cal High athletes seem to have a chip on their shoulder, which brings a unique competitiveness."