Cassville Wildcat Soccer Coach Terry Jamieson has been named the Class 2 Missouri High School Soccer Coach of the Year for 2005. The award was announced Monday by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
The Wildcats finished the 2005 season by advancing to the state tournament in St. Louis and tying for third place. The team's final record was 23-5-1.
Cassville's soccer program is only six years old and a trip to state for such a young program is a phenomenal accomplishment and one that Jamieson credits, in part, to his players.
"I am numb today," said Jamieson. "This is the most incredible honor I have ever received as a coach. To be voted by my peers to be in this position is simply great.
"I think good players make you a good coach, and we had a great team of try-hard kids who honored me with their loyalty and integrity," Jamieson added.
Cassville defeated Carthage for the district title and then took a huge win at the next step of state play by knocking off Lee's Summit West in the quarter-finals. That victory led to a state final four appearance in St. Louis.
Cassville took on Priory, the state's top-ranked team, to the final whistle and lost 1-0 on an own goal. The Wildcats then tied Moberly the next morning for the share of third place.
"I think of the support I received from family and players, and I get a tear in my eye," Jamieson said. "And other coaches, like Matt Huntley, of Carthage, and Curtis Bishop, of Aurora, were in touch with me constantly to make this something shared."
For the past three years, Jamieson has juggled the duties of soccer coach, assistant vice principal and athletic director at Cassville High School.
"It's been hard, but Brian Wilbanks, my assistant coach, helps me out a lot," said Jamieson. "There's no way I could do it without Brian."
Jamieson said he intends to continue coaching through his son Aaron's high school career.
Jamieson's coaching philosophy is centered on personal fitness.
"I think that players have to train physically as much as they possibly can and then some," Jamieson said. "I also challenge my players to live a self-disciplined life."
Jamieson is also known for training alongside his players.
"I never ask my players to do anything I wouldn't do, and that's why I run with them," said Jamieson.
Jamieson also makes a deep connection with his players.
"I understand their personalities like nobody else can," said Jamieson. "I think about them all the time, and I feel a huge obligation to them spiritually. They're not mine. I'm taking care of God's children.
"I remember all of my players," said Jamieson. "I think of Todd Linebarger and Ryan Post and John Richmiller. I wonder how Kyle Wall is doing and if Alan Jones misses me. I hope that when Nick (Schlichtman) and Spencer (Lynch) and all the gang get together when they're 40, they'll remember me too."
In talking about his players, Jamieson praises their conduct on and off the field.
"I think I was chosen for this honor, because of how this group behaved," said Jamieson. "They showed so much class on the field. There were teams that were better than us, and we beat them anyway. And they played so hard, they always played hard."
When asked if he had any final thoughts on his award, Jamieson talked of going from the losingest coach in college basketball to state coach of the year during a seven-year span.
"When I came here and took over the soccer program, I quit setting personal goals," said Jamieson. "I quit worrying about outcomes, but in my heart, I still wanted to win."
And win, he did.
Since becoming Cassville's first soccer coach in 2000, Jamieson has put together a career record of 92 wins, 43 losses and three ties. His teams continue to set new records and surpass all expectations, and he says he's looking to return to state next season.