In 2014, the Greenbrier boys soccer team will have a new head coach.
Chip Warren made the Wolfpack’s soccer banquet more eventful than usual Monday night, announcing he would not be returning for his 15th season.
“I just felt like it was time, I want to spend a little bit more time with my family,” said Warren, who will remain at Greenbrier to teach health and physical education. “I only got a couple of more years to retirement so it felt like it was a good situation to cut ties.”
Michael Harris, the Wolfpack’s senior captain didn’t see it coming.
“It surprised me,” said Harris, the 2013 Region 2-AAAAA player of the year. “Personally, I liked him a lot and on the field he was a respected coach. It didn’t matter how old you were, if you were good, he played you.”
It didn’t take long for players from Warren’s past to reach out, including former Wolfpack Reed Norton, a standout rising sophomore at Georgia Southern University.
“He loved all of us,” said Norton. “Each and every player he had he loved us. You can’t really say that about most coaches.”
Hearing from old players was special for Warren.
”It makes you think you might have touched their lives a little bit, that’s what we’re in the business for,” said Warren.
From 2000 to 2013, the 50-year-old Warren amassed a 211-54-12 record. The Wolfpack won eight region championships and advanced to the state’s round of eight each season from 2005 to 2012, including an appearance in the 2012 state championship game and final four appearances in 2006 and 2007.
“Chip has given a lot to Greenbrier High School and our soccer program, especially the last 14 years,” said athletic director Garrett Black. “What Chip has done is he’s taken our boys soccer program to a different level. We are a state power now in soccer. I truly believe the Greenbrier High School soccer job is the premier soccer job in the CSRA because of what Chip Warren has done.”
The Wolfpack were 10-6-3 in 2013 and the majority of the varsity roster was dismissed late in the season after an incident with alcohol and synthetic marijuana.
“Everything that happens, happens for a reason,” Warren said. “Did this speed up my retirement? Possibly, but who can tell. I thought about it last year, you evaluate it at the end of every year...I thought I’d get reacquainted with my life a little bit. It was just time.”