HC Soccer Coach Behler wins Coach of the Year


Benjamin Webster

HC Soccer won the State championship last year in 2019. Despite falling short in the 2020 11th Region Final, the team still received an accolade. Their head coach Jason Behler won 2019-2020 coach of the year. Behler has had a long career at HC and has enjoyed the journey to this point.

“I started as an assistant,” Behler said. “Coach Bernardi kept me on his staff for the next 10 years and taught me a lot. In 2015, after losing in the State Finals, Coach Bernardi decided he was retiring, and this time, after 13 years as an assistant, I got the Head Coaching job.”

Behler had always wanted to coach, no matter where he ended up, but he found a home at HC. 

“At first, I wasn’t picky, I just wanted to learn and probably would’ve left if something enticing had opened up,” Behler said. “But after learning so much from two different head coaches at Henry Clay – Atinay and Bernardi – and being a part of the school as a teacher for those 13 years, I felt that so connected to Henry Clay that I couldn’t see myself coaching at another high school.”

Behler has a straightforward approach to how he coaches players through tough games. He pushes his players to control what they do. 

“It is about what you did, about what was in your control,” Behler said, “You control your preparation, your reactions, your effort, and your communication. If you have done your best to maximize your influence in those ways then you have done your best – win or lose.”  

Although Behler wants to coach his team to win games, he also makes sure that they are enjoying the moment and to work hard for what they want. 

“I like the saying, “Learn to love the grind,” because you spend the majority of your life – as a player and a person – preparing,” Behler said. “The game (or whatever you are preparing for) ends up being a very small moment. So if you are only doing for that moment then you are missing out on enjoying a huge chunk of your life.”

No matter what happens in the sport of soccer, or who is on the soccer team, Behler hopes to continue to teach these strong values to his players. 

“I will continue to preach those same ideals that got me to this point because I believe that I can always keep up with the evolution of the game – technically and tactically -,” Behler said, “but those ideals are timeless and universal.”