Hauger steps down as girls soccer coach at Sullivan
I knew something was up when all of the Sullivan High School fall sports coaches for 2021 were on a list to be approved at the last Southwest School Corp. board meeting. There was one glaring omission — SHS girls soccer coach Kurt Hauger.
After a couple of decades, Hauger has decided to call it quits after 20 years of coaching the Lady Arrows.
“I know it's been 20 years coaching the high school girls, but it’s actually longer since I started the whole thing in 1997 in the back playground at Central Elementary,” said Hauger. “Our first official YMCA Youth Soccer started in 1998.
“So really it's been 24 years.”
As part of those humble beginnings, Hauger put together Sullivan’s first travel team in the spring of 1999. A year later, he started the girls program at SHS. They started playing matches a year later in 2001.
During that time, he founded and became the first president of the Sullivan County Youth Soccer Association.
Hauger then started the junior high soccer program at Sullivan in 2018.
“I think I have coached or assisted coaching 14 travel soccer teams, boys and girls,” he said. “I have no idea how many recreation teams I have coached.”
Hauger said he was 38 when he started coaching at SHS.
“It is hard to believe that I am now pushing 60 and I coached the high school girls team for 20 years,” he said.
Hauger, whose day job is director of pharmacy at Sullivan County Community Hospital, did not envision a coaching career this long.
“I had no idea that I would still be coaching the girls some 20 years later,” he said. “To be honest, I didn't really have a plan as to how many years I would coach.”
Besides 200-plus wins, Hauger’s teams won nine Western Indiana Conference championships and three sectional titles.
“I have been so fortunate to coach some very good players,” he said. “They have made my job so much easier and made me look good.
“Plus I have had some very good assistant coaches throughout the years. You can’t have success without good kids and good coaches.”
Hauger said he coached this long for one reason.
“It’s the kids,” said Hauger. “Their enthusiasm for soccer kept me young.
“I was able to feed off of their energy. It was infectious. Obviously, I am not as young as when I started so I needed something to keep pushing me.”
Hauger said he loved the challenge that the team faced in 2020 with the pandemic hanging over everybody’s head.
“Just like life, all we can do is take things one day at a time,” said Hauger, who has been dealing with some personal health issues. “In reality, that is all we are guaranteed.
“I was thankful to have had the chance to coach a great bunch of girls one more season."
From that 1-8-1 season in 2001 and 11-20-5 record in his first three seasons, Hauger finished with a career record 217-99-19.
His teams also won Western Indiana Conference championships in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016 and sectional championships in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
At SHS, Hauger only had four losing seasons, one in the last 17 years, and a streak of 15 consecutive winning seasons.
He said he has loved every minute of his tenure at SHS.
“I am thankful to have had the chance to coach a great bunch of girls throughout the years,” he said.
Hauger said he believes he has had 17 players that signed to play college soccer, including Katie Turley and Gabby Wright from this year’s team. Wright’s signing with Saint Marys has been delayed until later this year because of COVID-19.
“Times flies,” said Hauger. “I have had a lot of help from the administration at Sullivan High School. Our facilities are as good as anyone’s around here. I am very fortunate to have great kids, great parents and great coaches and a lot of help. It has all been a fantastic journey.”
On a personal note, thanks for all of your help, Kurt. I will miss working with you.
SULLIVAN HIGH SCHOOL
YEAR COACH RECORD
2001-02 KURT HAUGER 1-8-1
2002-03 KURT HAUGER 5-6-1
2003-04 KURT HAUGER 5-6-3
2004-05 KURT HAUGER 11-6-1
2005-06 KURT HAUGER 13-4-0
2006-07 KURT HAUGER 12-3-1
2007-08 KURT HAUGER 12-3-1
2008-09 KURT HAUGER 12-4
2009-10 KURT HAUGER 16-3
2010-11 KURT HAUGER 15-3-1
2011-12 KURT HAUGER 15-4
2012-13 KURT HAUGER 14-5-1
2013-14 KURT HAUGER 10-6-1
2014-15 KURT HAUGER 10-6-2
2015-16 KURT HAUGER 13-4-1
2016-17 KURT HAUGER 11-3-2
2017-18 KURT HAUGER 15-3
2018-19 KURT HAUGER 13-4-0
2019-20 KURT HAUGER 6-10-1
2020-21 KURT HAUGER 8-8-1
Career record 217-99-18
2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016
2009, 2011, 2012