The first woman to hold a head-coaching position of a boys varsity team in Vermont has now taken the reins of one of the most coveted high school sports gigs in the state.
Katie Mack was named the successor to T.J. Mead as the head coach of the Champlain Valley Union boys soccer program, the school announced Thursday morning.
“I’m excited to take the helm of what really is the premier program in the state,” Mack said. “The depth of the players and the skill level of the players from varsity to JV is unparalleled at CVU.
“I’m fully aware of the expectations that the program has and I’m thrilled to be a part of it and can’t wait to start in August,” Mack said.
Previously, Mack, 31, was the boys head coach of BFA-Fairfax, where she was the Mountain Division coach of the year in 2010 and 2011 and led the Bullets to a Division III title-game appearance in 2010.
According to BFA-Fairfax athletic director Geri Witalec, Mack was believed to be the first woman to lead a boys varsity team sport in Vermont.
Mack left following the 2012 season to take a social-studies teaching job at CVU. She also guided Vermont’s senior all-stars to victory in the annual Lions Twin State Soccer Cup against New Hampshire this past summer.
“Part of me wondered what it would be like,” said Mack of not coaching in the fall. “Well, I missed coaching high school. There’s something really gratifying about teaching and coaching at that same school. You can really connect to the students.”
Mack replaces Mead, a former CVU standout who stepped down last month after winning 115 games and four Division I titles in eight seasons. Prior to Mead’s tenure, Dan Shepardson orchestrated a CVU dynasty starting in 1999 when Mead was a senior.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to build on their legacies,” Mack said.
A three-year starter for the women’s soccer team at Drew University in New Jersey, Mack received her master’s degree in education from the University of Vermont in 2006.
This past fall Mack served as an assistant with the St. Michael’s women’s team. She is also a club youth coach with Far Post.
About an hour after interviewing for the position on Wednesday, Mack was offered the job.
“I’m really grateful to the CVU community for giving me this opportunity,” the Maryland native said.