The end of an era for Kern Valley High School

Photo by Alexis Morales / Special to the Sun – Retiring coach Tom Cormack gives one last passionate speech at a ceremony held in his honor at the Kern Valley High School Fine Arts Building.

Kern Valley Sun

This past week, Tom Cormack, head coach of the varsity Lady Broncs soccer team, coached his last game. He had this to say at a ceremony held honoring his legacy: “As I retire from the head coaching position after 16 years coaching soccer at Kern Valley, I have to say it has been a wonderful ride. I have been privileged to be a part of the developing soccer program at Kern Valley from the start. I can’t claim credit for getting it started. That credit goes to a determined group of AYSO parents including, among others, Don Wetteland, Tom and Kathy Dwyer, Mike and Susan Hughes and the Deaver family. They lobbied hard to get Principal Dreiling and the Kern High School District to establish a boys and girls team up in the Kern Valley. They succeeded! Actually, as AYSO commissioner, and ECHO Health Career Academy leader at the time, I figured I had enough on my plate, and was going to let others coach the high school. Casey Robison signed on to coach the girls. So, I had another veteran AYSO coach lined up for the boys. When that coach had to drop out just days before tryouts, the Athletic Director said that at this late date I needed to coach the boys or we wouldn’t have a team. How could I say no? It’s one of those providential things that, at the time seems overwhelming, but now turns out to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. It’s been a true privilege to work with so many of you athletes, parents, volunteers, and administrators to develop the Kern Valley High School Soccer program. I thank you all. In fact, there are so many of players, parents, AYSO people, community people, that I am afraid to start giving names because I know my memory would fail and I’d leave out somebody who is indeed special to me. But, I will thank some of my key assistant coaches who have contributed so much. Chris Brown, my first boys assistant who taught me so much about the game and took some of the stress. Dennis Monahan and Billy Steers who (along with a great bunch of girls) extended my coaching career another five terrific years, and gave us the coaching boost we needed to drive to the quarter finals two times and semifinals one time. Then, this year, the hand off year, when I hope that Lady Bronc soccer will continue strong without missing a beat after I’m gone, thanks to Paul Armes who puts so much of himself into our season, planning practices, running games, and managing communications. If he is able to continue on after I am gone, the Lady Broncs will continue to develop into an even better team. Finally, to my daughter, Chelsea Cormack, who helped coach this year and gave me the privilege of seeing her develop from a tiny AYSO player to a solid varsity player, a college player, and now a coach. And, last but certainly far from least, thank you to my wife who has been a big, big, but often times unnoticed, part of it all. From AYSO jobs as registrar, coach, running the snack bar, counseling players, to being at nearly every game home and away taking stats riding chaperone on the bus and putting up with me. We are a team. I know I’ve missed many important people and events. I’ll remember them later, as I read this and regret my poor memory. But, it’s been one terrific ride. Thank you to the Kern Valley soccer community.”

Adam Dawson - February 6, 2019

Mr. Cormack consistently acted as a true professional and prepared us well for the grind of college and the work-force. He used the sciences, particularly Chemistry, as an avenue to teach work ethic, accountability and self growth. We weren’t around for the birth of the KVHS soccer program, but were very fortunate to experience his coaching style within the realm of the academic classroom. He kept us on our toes, to say the least. Congratulations to Coach Cormack for a job well done on the field! Teaching and coaching for an abundance of years is rewarding, yet is undoubtedly an exhausting task. Its completely evident that the Kern River Valley community has benefitted from his commitment.

Adam Dawson: KVHS 1997

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