Benefits of Teacher Coaches: Girl’s Soccer Edition

Coach Grindle brings her teacher perspective to coaching


Ava Easterly, Staff Writer

Teacher coaches can help define a student’s high school athletic experience–whether your history teacher is your wrestling coach, your business teacher is your lacrosse coach, or your gym teacher is your hockey coach. Though this was standard practice in the past, there has been a noticeable shift in the roster of teacher coaches for athletes at SHS. Recently, it has become more and more popular–and sometimes necessary–to outsource coaches; consequently, more head coaching positions are held by people who are not connected to the high school, leading to higher turnover in the coaching staff. In particular, the SHS girls varsity soccer program has undergone significant staffing changes during this 2022 season alone. As a captain of the team, I can attest to the fact that it has taken a toll on our morale and team chemistry. 

Walking into my senior season, my teammates and I were faced with adapting to another new coach after our previous coach abruptly left at the end of last season. Both of these coaches have no affiliation with SHS outside of coaching girls’ soccer. The team faced a rocky start, but we were given a gift halfway through the season–SHS math teacher Liz Grindle. 

Grindle, the math department chair, was brought onto the coaching staff on October 5th to assist the new head coach, Nicole Hayward. Grindle had no prior knowledge of the team before being approached by Athletic Director Scott Paine and Principal Lisa Maguire. She stated, “I had one student that I knew played on the team because I had her last year, but other than that, I knew nothing.” 

Grindle brought a fresh set of eyes and an unbiased point of view to the bench–something the team desperately desired. Grindle not only imparted teacher familiarity back to the coaching staff but also her vast array of soccer credentials: As a previous coach at the SELECT soccer club and a volunteer varsity coach for Marshfield Girls Soccer, Grindle was well qualified for this position. 

Grindle said she took a step back from coaching since moving into her leadership position with the math department. However, she recognized the benefits of her new role with the team: “Being part of this team right now has reminded me of why I love coaching student-athletes.”

Grindle’s passion for the sport–and the athletes’ experience–is one of the strongest I’ve seen in any coach since I’ve been a part of this program. Using the language of mathematics, Grindle explained, “When you know what kids are doing day-in and day-out, and we walk in and out of the same building, I think it brings a level of understanding to the equation.” In fact, Grindle seems to understand all the components that go into being a student-athlete–the stress, the demand, the comradery, and the intensity–and I believe this knowledge enhances her role not only in our athletic lives but our academic lives, too. 

Scituate girls soccer has only improved since the addition of Coach Grindle, and I hope to see her stay with the program as a teacher coach moving forward.