Richmond’s Troy Kendrick has won his share of awards in his 24 years as girls head soccer coach.

And with good reason.

Over that span his teams have won nine Class D state championships and posted a record of 258 wins, 81 losses and 12 ties. This year, the Bobcats went unbeaten, winning their third straight state championship.

Kendrick was recently named New England Region Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association and will be in the running for National Coach of the Year at the association’s convention Jan. 18 in Indianapolis, Ind. Kendrick, who won the regional award in 2007, is taking the honor in stride.

“It’s nice to be recognized,” he said. “It’s kind of a reflection of the kids I have to work with.”

Kendrick, who is a fourth grade teacher at the town’s elementary school, puts in his time, coaching a middle school team in the winter and his high school kids in the summer.

“I don’t know if I do things much differently than the other coaches,” he said. “Richmond’s a pretty good sports town, which helps. They’re very supportive with the things I do with the kids.”

Kendrick’s teams are generally known for their short passing style and communication skills. But it’s his style of encouragement that may be most important to the school’s success.

“He’s been a friend to me as well as a coach,” senior Noell Acord said. “I’m a player who needs a pat on the back a lot. He’s always there to pick me up.”

Acord said Kendrick can be a little more demanding in practice than games but his calm sideline demeanor during games usually is reflected in the way his teams play.

“He’s truly a gentleman,” Richmond athletic director Molly Bishop said. “The kids respect him and so do the officials and other coaches. He’s a good person but he drills the basic skills into those kids.”

Until this fall, Phil Houdlette coached the middle school girls teams for several years and Ryan Gardner has been Kendrick’s assistant coach for 15 years.

“I’ve been very lucky to have the same staff,” Kendrick said. “We’re good friends, we’re on the same page.”

Kendrick grew up in Richmond where he played three sports and now he said he’s coaching some of the daughters of the girls he coached when he first arrived.

“His relationship with his players helps us more than anything,” Acord said. “He’s the best coach I’ve ever had.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638
[email protected]

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