Boys soccer: East Aurora coach Jason Rollins resignsEast Aurora soccer head coach Jason Rollins urges his players, including Kevin Ortega, to board their bus after a morning match at Oswego East. The Tomcats play an afternoon match at Lemont.
Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 16, 2012 6:28PM
Jason Rollins’ decision to leave creates some mighty big coaching shoes to fill for the East Aurora boys soccer program.
From his 2005 debut as a first-time head coach, the Tomcats never had a losing record in seven seasons under Rollins. The program posted all kinds of new benchmarks, including being ranked as high as No. 5 by the Sun-Times.
However, the opportunity to move his family closer to relatives led the 34-year-old physical education teacher to accept the head coaching position at Colorado Springs Christian School.
“This was a tough decision and I’ve broken down a few times because this has been home for seven years,” Rollins said. “Telling my players was particularly difficult, but they understood my making this move for my family. I hope my players and the community know how rewarding this experience has been for me. I’ve grown as a person and a coach, and the experiences and memories I take from East will be a part of my life forever.”
“From the top down we’re talking about a first-class individual in the classroom or on the field,” East Aurora athletic director Cam Leadbetter said. “Jason’s a tremendous family man and a true educator who always put the emphasis on the kids. I know people saw the winning on the field, but it’s all the intangibles that will make him hard to replace. His respect for his fellow teachers and staff, the family environment he created in the program, the fundraising. It means we have to look for the best possible coach, someone who can hit the ground running and continue to build the program.”
In seven years at East Aurora, Rollins compiled a 93-44-24 (.652) record — including consecutive sectional appearances the past two years.
The Tomcats set a school record for single-season victories in 2010 during a 17-3-4 run that included the program’s first conference title.
Last fall, the Tomcats shared the UEC Valley crown and compiled a 15-5-3 mark that included a second straight Lemont Cup title as well as a regional championship.
“There is more history to be written for the Tomcats,” Rollins said. “I feel privileged to have taken the program to new levels and plan to follow the success to come. There is so much potential at East and the future is bright as long as good, quality coaches and leaders continue to invest in these kids and this community. Right from the start, there’s never been a lack of talent at East. It’s always been about establishing a sense of pride and cohesiveness.”