Rock Bridge soccer coach Scott Wittenborn is stepping away from his position, according to a video released by Wittenborn via Rock Bridge boys soccer’s Twitter account Wednesday night.
Wittenborn said that he announced his decision to his team earlier in the evening at its 2020 banquet.
“This has been an incredibly hard decision for me,” Wittenborn said in the video. “I absolutely love Rock Bridge soccer. I love the people, the program, the support. Everybody has been absolutely fantastic to me over the years.”
Wittenborn was with the program for nine years and served as its head coach for seven.
He decided to move on from coaching to spend more time with his two young kids.
“I don’t think anybody who hasn’t done it can know how much family time you miss while coaching,” he said. “(My kids are) just starting to love soccer themselves, and that was a part of the big reason I needed to step away. I need to be there to play soccer in the front yard with them.”
The Bruins finished 10-7-2 this season and fell 2-1 on a last-minute goal by Blue Springs in the Class 4 District 9 semifinals. It was the first time in Wittenborn’s tenure as coach that the program did not make it to the district championship game.
In his goodbye video, Wittenborn said he knew the Blue Springs game would be his last as Rock Bridge’s coach. While he thanked all his former players in his video, he specifically thanked Nate Durdle and Preston Fancher, who attended the Blue Springs game. They stuck around after the loss to kick the ball around with Wittenborn for nearly 30 minutes.
“You guys were probably the epitome of making it worth it and giving me purpose for what I did,” Wittenborn said.
Most of Wittenborn’s goodbye video consisted of thank-you’s, starting with his predecessor, Alex Nichols.
Wittenborn also gave a brief thank you to his father, who was his own high school soccer coach.
“That is about all I can say about thanking him, because I get way too emotional,” Wittenborn said.
He also thanked a number of fellow state and local coaches, including former Rockhurst head coach Chris Lawson, Hickman head coach Wil Ross and former Battle coach-turned athletic director Alexander Huck.
Wittenborn won three district championships and finished third in the 2016 state tournament during his time as head coach. His video did not seem to indicate that a successor has been named to take over the program.