HINESBURG, Vt. -
The CVU boys soccer team opens its playoff run tomorrow. The program has won 16 state titles under former coaches Dan Shepardson and T.J. Mead. Now, a new coach leads the Red Hawks into the postseason for the first time A coach that's looking to continue one tradition while breaking down another.
In six years of coaching boys soccer, Katie Mack says she has picked up one crucial piece of information.
"Video games," Mack said. "I can't believe how much they love video games."
Joking aside, it was opportunity, not gender that led her to become the first documented female to coach any boys varsity team in the Green Mountain State.
"It really had to do with the fact that there were two open positions when I was at BFA-Fairfax and they were both boys positions. I hope in the future that gender has no affect on that."
Her passion and knowledge of the game is evident. Meanwhile, her drive has taken her from Division III BFA-Fairfax to DI Champlain Valley Union. A school that's widely considered the best high school program in Vermont.
"Forget gender, the fact that I was taking over for a program with great coaches and history, that was the humbling part," Mack said.
"From the beginning she never thought about that," senior captain Max Brown said. "She was just concerned about getting us ready to play to our potential."
"She wants to carry the tradition," senior captain Zach Akey said. "From Shep to T.J, we've head tremendous coaches and I think we have another one."
After a very good 10-3-1 regular season CVU earned a No. 5 seed heading into the postseason, Mack says this is the time of the year when she expects the Red Hawks to become great.
"Just like any other team, we're going to play our best, with passion and 100% heart," Mack said. "I think success will come from that."
When she came to graduate school at UVM a decade ago, "pioneer" wasn't the role Mack envisioned for herself. However, she says if it helps other females coaches rule the sidelines, she'll gladly take the assist.
"I think soccer needs to promote that," Mack said. "We need more female coaches at the club and high school level. Gender should not play a factor in any of that."
Six years into her career, Katie Mack is certainly proving just that. In Hinesburg, Dylan Scott Channel 3 Spotlight on Sports.