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Brigham takes the helm

Assistant takes over Carson boys soccer team

By CharlesWhisnand

Appeal Sports Editor

Nathan Brigham didn’t know he was going to be the Carson High boys soccer coach. But now that he is the coach, Brigham is looking forward to the challenge.

“Honestly, they called me up and said the fall sports meeting is Monday and we still don’t have a coach,” said Brigham on the recent informational meeting on fall sports and how he became the coach. “At this point in my life it was not my first choice.”

With his wife, Alison, expecting, Brigham wasn’t looking to be a head coach right now. But his wife isn’t due until after the soccer season is over and Brigham didn’t want the current group of players left in limbo.

Brigham is replacing Jason Koop, who he served under as an assistant on the varsity team for the past two years. Brigham said he’s developed a solid relationship with the players on the team “and didn’t want to leave them hanging.”

Brigham teaches fourth grade at Empire Elementary School. He came to Carson City after teaching in Sacramento for three years. He was a goalie for Linfield College in Oregon, an NAIA program, from 1997-2001 and majored in elementary education there.

It was there were Brigham first came into contact with Koop, who was then Brigham’s coach as Koop was the goalie coach at Linfield. When Koop discovered Brigham had come to Carson City, he asked Brigham to be his assistant. “I had no idea Koop was here in Carson City,” Brigham said.

Brigham said he didn’t know if he can take on the job on a more long-time basis after this season, but would like to. “I’m doing it this year for sure,” he said.

He said how long he coaches will depend on the time constraints. “I would like it to be a permanent thing,” Brigham said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Koop built a successful program, winning a Northern 4A title and two Sierra League crowns, but with expectations always being high, there’s no denying that Carson losing in the Northern 4A semifinals to South Tahoe this past season was a little bit of a disappointment and Brigham understands that. And with a strong nucleus returning, Brigham also understands the expectations will be as high as ever.

“We have a very strong senior group this year,” Brigham said. “We have a great support group of sophomores and juniors. We’re going to have a real strong team this year.

“There’s going to be obviously a lot of expectations of me. Koop has built a very strong foundation that I hope to continue. I think our goal is definitely to win league and hopefully we can progress further inthe region tournament than we have in the past.”

Brigham is also looking forward to potentially playing on the new field turf surface at Carson High’s football stadium, which is scheduled to be completed by this fall. The field is supposed to be designed for both football and soccer – meaning that it will be 65 yards wide for soccer.

The field turf should play into Carson’s strength this year, Brigham said. “I’m perfectly OK with it,” said Brigham about the field turf. “I’m perfectly happy playing on that.”

The field turf, Brigham said, will suit “what we’re trying to go four this year as far as our tactics. We have a lot of very skilled players on the ball. A (field) turf plays perfectly into that.”