Deep within the coronary heart of Texas, Tim Clary nonetheless retains tabs on what’s transpiring in his house state. And at his alma mater.
All whereas getting his first style of teaching the game he loves.
The previous tight finish/fullback for Illinois from 2013-15 simply wrapped up his first season as an assistant soccer coach at Hays Excessive Faculty, a Class 6A program in Buda, Texas, that sits about 20 minutes south of Austin. And it was a memorable season for Hays underneath the route of coach Les Goad. The Rebels completed 10-4 and reached the Class 6A, Division II state semifinals earlier than seeing their season finish on Jan. 9.
“I wish to suppose I acquired a bit fortunate,” the 27-year-old Clary mentioned. “I’m tremendous appreciative in the truth that I used to be capable of start my teaching profession on the largest division in Texas. Coach Goad is a really profitable coach right here in Texas, and having the ability to see first-hand how he runs a program has supplied me a lot perception in my first yr that I’ll carry with me for a very long time.”
This newest soccer journey for Clary has all transpired since mid-June. He and his spouse, Kelly, one other UI graduate, moved to Texas this previous summer season after Kelly was employed as an assistant professor within the faculty of social work at Texas State College in San Marcos. Tim shortly accepted a job instructing world historical past and training linebackers at Hays.
Attending to expertise this season teaching soccer amid a worldwide pandemic offered its personal set of challenges for Clary.
“It was a season filled with change,” Clary mentioned. “No two days have been the identical.”
Like taking further precautions of wiping down gear within the weight room. Spraying to disinfect locker rooms. Teaching with a masks. However Hays was capable of pull off a 14-game season with restricted followers within the stands that featured a sport each week beginning in late September.
Clary, a Richmond-Burton Excessive Faculty graduate, feels for highschool soccer gamers in Illinois who’re nonetheless ready to see in the event that they’ll get an opportunity to play this faculty yr.
“With out highschool soccer, I’m not the place I’m as we speak and that’s not in relation to the game,” he mentioned. “My highschool coach helped mould me from an immature child right into a younger grownup. These youngsters want highschool sports activities. It teaches you a lot about your self and methods to develop up, be held accountable and to have self-discipline. My highschool soccer profession was one thing I’ll perpetually cherish from all the teachings I realized in these 4 years that also apply to my life as we speak.”
That’s to not add what Clary — who walked on to the Illini forward of the 2013 season and ended up taking part in in 28 video games throughout three seasons — realized whereas in Champaign.
“You must perceive, I confirmed as much as campus my first yr not understanding if I’d be capable of play soccer,” Clary mentioned. “My ardour was for the College of Illinois, and if issues didn’t work out, I knew I used to be nonetheless going to be at a dream faculty of mine. After attempting out for the staff and being given the chance I used to be given, I’ll all the time maintain the U of I pricey to my coronary heart.”
A Chicago Bears fan, Clary was excited to see what Lovie Smith may accomplish at Illinois. Regardless of the dearth of success underneath Smith, Clary continues to be wanting to see if Bret Bielema can assist flip across the Illini. Clary participated in a Zoom name Bielema had with former Illinois gamers final month and got here away much more fired up.
“He mentioned all the appropriate belongings you wish to hear from a brand new head coach,” Clary mentioned. “I’m excited to look at a floor and pound offense at Illinois. I’m pumped for the blokes within the locker room. They’re getting an incredible coach who’s a confirmed winner within the Large Ten. When Coach Bielema was introduced as the brand new coach, it gave me hope. You can’t ask for far more.”
Matt Daniels is the sports activities editor at The Information-Gazette. He will be reached at 217-373-7422 or at email@example.com.