Haddock honored as coach of year

The Saint Louis Soccer Hall of Fame announced on Thursday that St. John Vianney High School coach Brian Haddock has been honored as the Jimmy Dunn Memorial High School Coach of the Year award.

“Definitely unexpected,” Haddock said. “Totally blown away and shocked by it. Humbled to be thought of with coaches that have the award. I guess what’s hard is that soccer’s a players’ game so you quickly learn that when you surround yourself with good kids — and in my case good coaches — these sort of things happen at a great school like this. 

“So that’s the first thing I dream of when I got that, just kind of how that happened in a sport like soccer that’s so player-driven. I just take pride in leading a program and I’d like to consider myself a leader of a program versus a head coach of a team and I’m really proud of the last few years that we’ve kind of instilled that in our players and coaches. When you have that family, these sort of awards are really special to me because I consider it a Vianney award.”

Haddock guided the Golden Griffins to a runner-up finish in the Missouri Class 4 tournament in the fall in his second season as Vianney’s head coach. He is also the head coach at Nerinx Hall.

Saint Louis Soccer Hall of Fame President Jim Leeker delivered the news to Haddock personally on Thursday. 

“Taking Vianney to the finals was a big plus in his favor, but not only because of that I think the soccer community knows how he handles the young men and the young ladies at Nerinx,” Leeker said. “Whether or not they win or they lose, his demeanor is beyond reproach. He just keeps a calm head and keeps the girls and men in line and everything is for a purpose. Whether or not it’s to win or lose, it’s to learn a lesson. That’s the feeling I get when I watch Brian. He’s remarkable when it comes to watching him with the kids.”

The Jimmy Dunn Coach of the Year Award was started in 1988 by Dunn's son, Edward, as a way to honor his father's legacy in St. Louis soccer. The first recipient of the award, back in 1988, was former Vianney coach Mike Villa.