All great teams have a common denominator: an inspiring coach. To rise to a championship level, a team must have talent, grit, sportsmanship, and drive. A coach must not only teach skills, but role model the other essential elements. Boys’ Varsity Soccer Coach Jeff Cousineau does this in spades, and others agree. Coach Cousineau was named the 2017 New England Region, Small Public School, High School Boys’ Coach of the Year.
A soccer player and coach for over 21 years at Derryfield alone, the 2017 championship brought Coach Cousineau his 301st win—including eight championships!
Coach Cousineau shares, “I am so honored to receive this award. BVSO deserves a huge THANKS for making me look so good this year. This award is just more proof that the 2017 BVSO team is a wildly talented and one-in-a-million team, and it has been a privilege and honor to lead these boys this year. In the end, it is has always been and will always be ALL about the players.”
He continues, “I always tell the boys, I am the sherpa. I can get you to the top but you have to do the work.” And work this team did; with a perfect record, Coach says they just gelled. It was the ideal combination of comradery and effort that made this such a winning season. He adds that this team understood how to tackle each game as an individual effort leading them towards the ultimate goal of a championship—of course, they needed good guidance for that.
Soccer is Cousineau’s passion, and it doesn’t end with the final game of the season. He opened his own soccer school 18 years ago, called Magic Touch Soccer Academy, and enrollment is strong and growing. It seems as he was fated to teach in the classroom and on the field. While working as a mechanical engineer, he was recruited to coach soccer at Exeter High School. Cousineau recalled, “It was perfect; I was using all my vacation time for soccer. With a teaching job, I could devote my summers to the sport. Really, it was a no brainer to switch careers. As much as I enjoyed engineering, the solutions were predetermined, and coaching—like teaching—is just plain fun.”
The BVSO players have much admiration for Coach Cuosineau. Senior co-captain Nate Kelsey said, “Coach does an unbelievable job caring about the team and having fun, while still remaining an authoritative figure. The thought that he puts into practices and game preparation is unmatched. A practice with coach will always be the perfect balance of fun, hard work, and productiveness.”
And freshman Christopher Lynch offered, “We are a tight community with a great coach to lead us. Cousineau always did things with our best interest in mind—he was incredibly inspiring, getting everyone to work super hard for every game.”
Coach Cousineau will be officially recognized at the 71st United Soccer Coaches Convention held in Philadelphia this January.