The End of an Era


Joseph Florez coaches during a girls soccer game. Photo provided by Charity Bates

Sydney Dame

A legacy will come to an end as Fair Grove’s head soccer coach, Joseph Florez, officially submitted his letter of resignation at the March School Board Meeting. At the high school Mr. Florez will still be teaching English 1, Newspaper, and his new classes Audio Storytelling and Modern American Literature. As of 2019 Florez has been coaching for 14 years as a total; one year at Jarrett Middle School for the boys (2005-2006), four years at Parkview High School for both boys and girls (2006-2009), one year for Fair Grove Middle School for boys (2010), and nine years for Fair Grove High School for both boys and girls (2011-2019). “The thing I’ll miss most is the relationships you build and the memories you make with your team. We’ve had years with twenty-something wins and a trip to state, and years where we only win a handful of games and lose in the first round of districts, but in all of those seasons, I like to think that we worked hard, learned some life lessons, and enjoyed ourselves. Some of those relationships you build with your team last a lifetime, and that’s what I’ll miss most,” stated Mr. Florez.

“I think I did a lot of growing up while coaching, honestly,” said Florez.

“I started coaching for Springfield Public Schools when I was 20. I lived and died by every win and loss for a long time. I yelled a lot. I stressed a lot. I think as I progressed as a coach, I started seeing the bigger picture more. I really enjoy player development, just teaching hard working kids how to get better. I really enjoy team building and character building. I stopped thinking about the wins and losses as much, and started thinking about what kinds of people our players were going to develop into. I think in some ways this made me a worse coach, and in other ways it made me a better coach. I don’t really know for sure, but it definitely made me happier with who I am, and happier with what our program has become,” he explained.

Mr. Florez has two children both under the age of three, Briar and Holden, which he’ll be spending his extra time with along with his wife. Florez added, “Of course, I think we all sort of have things we wish we had more time to do, so hopefully I’ll get a little more time to read, travel, and other stuff I tell myself I’ll do more of some time in the future but don’t really get around to as much as I’d like.”

As of right now, a new head soccer coach has not been announced to the public or to the current soccer players.