Boys soccer: Campisi goes from coaching to mentoring

Six-time state championship coach steps aside

— Campisi’s final season was another for the trophy case. The Plainsmen finished with a 19-2-1 record that included the Suburban Council North Division and Section II Class AA championships, as well as an appearance in the state semifinals – the 14th time that a Shen team has gotten as far as the final four.

“To get out on such a successful season is terrific,” said Campisi. “We fell short of [a state title], but making the final four is not a bad accomplishment.”

Campisi said he was “pretty sure” that 2011 would be his final season as head coach, but he didn’t tell his players until after the season because, “It would have created undue pressure on them, and you don’t want that.”

Adam Barlow, a senior captain, said that he had an inkling that Campisi was preparing to step down.

“I had suspicions of it, but never really had a full idea of it,” said Barlow. “I think it’s great that he’s becoming more of a mentor to the program because it would have been too much of a shock if he left completely.”

Culnan said a search for Campisi’s successor has begun, and he hopes to name a new varsity boys soccer head coach next month, along with a new football coach to replace Steuerwald.

“I think there is a lot of pressure to find people to fill these shoes,” said Culnan. “What you want to do is find people who can be themselves and continue the things that these coaches have done and build upon those things.”

Campisi said he will advise his successor, but he won’t second-guess the new coach when it comes to how the team performs on the field.

“I will not be by their side and question them. I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes,” said Campisi.

As for future classes of Shen boys soccer players, Barlow said they will miss out on Campisi’s direct, no-nonsense coaching style, but they will benefit from his soccer knowledge.

“It will be a big transition from Campisi to another coach, but it’s great that they’ll have him around as a mentor,” said Barlow.

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