Excessive Faculty Soccer: Taft Coach John Tsarouchas Resigns
Some decisions are both easy and difficult, as John Tsarouchas can attest.
Tsarouchas, who played high school soccer at Taft and returned to coach for 10 years and headed the program for the past five years, resigned Tuesday.
He moves to Spanish Fort, Alabama, where he teaches English and trains offensive linemen at Foley High.
“In short, life happened,” said Tsarouchas on Tuesday evening. “I told people that a bunch of dominoes would have to fall for something like this to happen. They fell in a short time. “
In particular, Tsarouchas said, “I have definitely always made family my priority. My in-laws live in Alabama, we go down there to be with the family. “
But leaving Taft will be difficult, especially after the Eagles emerged on Tsarouchas’ watch as one of the Public League’s elite programs.
It led her to a conference title in the Chicago Big Shoulders and Class 8A playoff berths in 2016, an 8A playoff berth and the school’s first Public League football title in 46 years in 2018, as well as a third IHSA playoff offering in 2019.
The Eagles were 3-2 in the shortened pandemic season, giving Tsarouchas an overall record of 26:20.
“It has been so fulfilling and rewarding to lead my alma mater,” said Tsarouchas. “Fortunately, we’ve grown and got better. It was a pleasure. “
That is, he added, “I feel like I’m going with an unfinished business.”
The Eagles competed with Simeon and Phillips this spring in 2019 but failed to take out traditional CPS forces. And Taft is 0-7 all-time in state playoff games.
Even so, Tsarouchas believes he is leaving the program in a good place. He credits the players with the purchase.
“I am very grateful for the first group of children who really had no reason to believe that they could be (so) good. Their attitude, their commitment and their trust in the process laid the foundation. “
Taft now has its own lighted stadium on campus, making the Friday night lights a reality on the northwest side. And there are both talents and numbers at the lower levels. Taft’s B team, made up mostly of sophomore students, took over Roosevelt’s schedule that spring when the Rough Riders signed off and won the title on Chicago Madison Street.
Even if he will no longer be the Eagles’ head coach, Tsarouchas will never stop staying true to his old school.
“I’m a Taft child,” he said. “To this day, I always had the taffeta chip on my shoulder. Anyone who wants to get rid of it will have a problem. “