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Originally published: 2014-04-15 12:02:14
Last modified: 2014-04-15 12:02:59

Bolick leaving WHS to coach at App State

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

The lure of coaching soccer on the college level was too much for Brittany Bolick to pass over a third time.

Bolick, the current Watauga girls' soccer coach, accepted a position to be an assistant coach at Appalachian State. She told her team at Watauga about the decision on Monday.

Bolick is in her fourth season as head coach of the girls' team at Watauga. She has built a record of 43-24-8, and has led the Pioneers to a 10-2-3 record this season.

Bolick said she has considered moving up to Appalachian State earlier when she started at Watauga, but the timing was not right. She has gained experience and feels that the timing is much better after four years on the high school level.

She had conversations with App State head coach Sarah Strickland and decided to take the position.

"It's a decision that has come up before in my first year and last year," Bolick said. "My first year, I wasn't ready to leave. I wanted to really see what I could do and continued to stay where I've been. Last year, it didn't work out. It wasn't the right time for either party involved. This season, it came open and I talked to Sarah and App about the opportunity. It seemed like the right time to step out and do it."

The position Bolick is taking is non-salaried, although she could receive compensation through any soccer camps or similar work she does. She will continue to teach physical education at Hardin Park Elementary.

Because she is coaching a college program, she is not allowed to coach on the high school level, but she is allowed to teach. She will finish the season with the Pioneers before taking on any responsibilities at App State.

Lindsay Cobb and Lindsey Morgan are the assistant coaches for Strickland at App State. Mimi Kleitches is the student assistant coach. Appalachian State was 8-7-4 overall 4-2-4 in the Southern Conference.

"We appreciate the good job that she did for us," Watauga athletic director Tom Wright said. "We wish her the very best and we'll move forward from here and start a search for another coach."

Wright said the school will likely have to advertise the position before filling it.

Bolick is familiar with soccer on the college level. After a standout prep career at Watauga that saw her be named all-Northwestern Conference three years and be named the NWC player of the year in 2005, Bolick went on to play at Charleston Southern.

She was a two time all-Big South performer and her team's Most Valuable Player her junior and senior seasons at Charleston Southern.

The jump to the college rank was a big surprise to her players when Bolick broke the news to them, according to the coach.

"There was a lot of shock in the room," she said. "I don't think that it was expected at all. I never really talked about my aspirations with the girls and I don't think they were expecting it. There were some tears, some of my own."

Bolick leaves the program on solid footing after taking over for Uwe Erlich in 2011. The Pioneers were 8-9-3 last season, 12-7-1 in 2012 and 12-6-1 in her first season.

The Pioneers are also sending three players -- India Roseman, Kat Welsh and Madi Critcher -- to college programs in the fall.

"I think they're excited about the future of the program and where they have it as players," Bolick said. "They're excited for me. They're a great group of players and a great group of parents. They've supported me and pretty much everything I've done and I think they'll continue to support me as I will continue to support them."