Craig Widener returns as BG Purples varsity soccer coach

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 5:51 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - He is not calling it a comeback, instead, new varsity head coach for the Bowling Green Purples soccer team, Craig Widener says, “it’s nice to be back, but it never really felt like I left.”

“When I stepped down from coaching, I wanted to be able to watch my daughter do her thing and not miss out on what she was doing. But at the same time, I was still keeping up with the results of the team, I still have players in the class, I’m still able to watch some of the games, and I was still around, helping out wherever I could with whatever I could.”

Widener stepped down from the position of head coach back in 2015. Widener won two state titles with the Purples in 2006 and in 2014 and many other accolades.

“I kind of made peace with the fact that I probably wasn’t going to coach again, and that was for a couple of years, really hard to swallow. I was constantly questioning whether I did the right thing.”

Widener adds, “It was a surprise to me when Coach Gural stepped down, but once he did, you know, it’s gonna be an opportunity to come back and do what I, what I really love to do. So as soon as it opened up again, I really did want to do it and jumped at the opportunity.”

So what comes next as head coach?

“Next as far as coaching get to know the kids, let’s get to know the players and that’s, that’s gonna be step one, I’ve got to get to know them, they’ve got to get to know me. And I’m sure there can be some differences in the way things have operated. So we’ve got to kind of get to know each other again, and really build relationships. So much goes into winning that is beyond a coach’s or even a player’s control especially in soccer, the game kind of lends itself to being having crazy results and it’s not always the best team that comes out on top. So my main goal is to make sure that we’re working hard every day in training and then hopefully that translates to positive experiences on the field.”

Widener is also a teacher at Bowling Green High School and is highly praised on and off the field, 13 Sports asked him his thoughts on that, he says, “for the most part, especially on a school day, or, or during a game or during a season, you want to show up and, and make sure that you’re a positive part of a kid’s day because you never know before they get to or after they leave you what they’ve experienced. So if I can add just a little bit of positivity, you know, that’s, that’s one of my main goals.”

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