The Erik Melville era is officially over for the Tuscola girls soccer program.
Melville, who spent 13 years at the helm, announced his resignation May 15, stating that his departure is an “entirely personal decision that is being made with the best interest of my family in mind.”
He also noted that his wife, Maggie Melville, is enrolling in graduate school this fall, and that he felt the need to “support her as she takes the next step in her education.”
Melville had virtually no soccer experience when he began his coaching tenure. Nonetheless, he experienced a great deal of success with the program.
He exits with a career record of 187-78-8, six outright WNCAC championships and one WNCAC co-championship. His teams never missed the postseason.
Through the years, the now-former coach has been adamant in crediting his players for the program’s sustained prosperity.
“I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel [when I started coaching], because I had girls who’d been playing the sport forever,” he said in an interview with The Mountaineer last month.
Melville, who will continue his job as an social studies teacher at Tuscola, has requested that his official resignation statement be printed in full.
After 17 years coaching at Tuscola, including the last 13 seasons as head coach of the Tuscola womens soccer team, I have decided it is time for me to step down as head coach.
This is an entirely personal decision that is being made with the best interests of my family in mind. I want to be clear that [Tuscola Principal Todd] Trantham has given me his full support in making this decision and, if I had decided to continue coaching, he would have supported me in that decision as well.
My wife, Maggie, has made the decision to enroll in graduate school beginning in the fall. She has supported me for the past 17 years, and now it is time for me to step backfrom my coaching duties, so I can support her and our family as she takes the next step in her education. She has been the best spouse that any coach could ever ask for. The amount of time that coaches have to dedicate in order to be successful requires an equal amount of time away from home, and she was always the rock that I, and our family, could count on.
Our daughter, Allie, is 8 years old and getting involved in more activities, and I don’t want to miss any more of those things than I already have.
I have thoroughly enjoyed leading this program for the past 13 years, and this year was no different. I am leaving coaching while I still very much enjoy it and still have a passion for it. I will be the first to admit that the success we’ve had while I was coaching was due to the players that have come through this program. I was fortunate to inherit a program that had a tradition of success, and I am proud to have built on that tradition.
The bonds that I have developed with the players over the years is something I will cherish. To see them come into the program as 9th-graders, and then watching them grow into young adults, is the best part of the job. Because as good as our players have been between the lines, they are even better people outside of the lines. I would also like to thank the parents and administrators that supported me through the years, including Dale McDonald, Todd Trantham, the Principal and Athletic Director, respectively, at the time, for having the belief in me when they asked me to take the job in 2007; Mike Sutton, Rodney Mashburn, Carol Fox, Ann Gardner and Joey Robinson, our athletic directors over those years; Travis Collins, who was principal for several years; and now our current Principal, Todd Trantham. It is always nice to know that the people above you have your best interests in mind, and I have never doubted I had their full support.
While I do not know who will be the head coach moving forward, I know the administration will do all they can to find someone who can hope to continue the success that the program has traditionally achieved.