Rob Brule, Waterford High School Girls Soccer

In this week’s coach’s interview we get to meet Rob Brule, the highly successful girls

soccer coach from Waterford High School.  Rob has been a friend for years and although

he has accumulated quite a coaching resume, he still doesn’t take himself too serious.  He has been the

coach at Waterford since 1994 and the Director of Coaching for the Southeast Soccer Club.  He has

coached Waterford to 12 Eastern Connecticut Conference Championships in the past 13 years.  His nine

consecutive championships boasted the longest running streak of any coach in the Eastern Connecticut

Conference.  Coach Brule has been selected Coach of the Year in 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2010.

Over the past 13 seasons at Waterford High School, Brule has accumulated a 177-34-14 overall record

and his high school team has advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament 6 of the past 12

seasons.

During his coaching career, Brule has produced 3 Eastern Connecticut Conference Players of the Year, 5

Norwich Bulletin Players of the Year, 4 New London Day Players of the Year, 2 NSCAA All-New England

players, 15 All-State players, 38 All-Area players, 63 All-Conference players and 12 Connecticut Senior

Bowl players. As of 2010, 12 of his players have gone on to play competitively at the collegiate level, 6

Division I scholarship players, 2 Division II players and 4 Division III players.

Most notably, in 2005, he coached and mentored current Boston Breakers player and Penn State

University All-American, Katie Schoepfer, who was drafted in in the 3rd Round of the 2010 WPS Draft,

by the New York Sky Blue FC with 26th Overall selection.  Katie was selected in 2007 and 2009 NSCAA

a Division I All-American, was Waterford High School’s first U.S National Team player, first female

soccer player selected All-American, first Connecticut “Gatorade” High School Soccer Player of the Year

and Waterford High School’s first athlete to be featured in Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd”.

In 2002, he led Waterford to it’s first State Championship Final appearance, outscored opponents

90-10, finished the season at 17-2-1 and ended the season ranked 10th in Connecticut’s Adidas/Coaches

Final Soccer Poll and one of the Eastern Connecticut Conference’s most talented girls high school soccer

teams ever assembled.

In addition to coaching the Waterford High School girls’ soccer team and the Southeast (CT) Premier

Soccer Club’s Division I 16G team, Coach Brule is the founder of Connecticut Coast Soccer, established in

1994.  Coach Brule has completed his USSF National “D” License course and has earned his NSCAA

Advanced Regional Diploma.

Coach Brule holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology, from the

University of Maine, where he was a Division I scholarship player from 1986-1990.  Coach Brule played

semi-professionally for the Moodus Rowdies and Waterford Xara of the Connecticut Soccer League,

winning 4 consecutive Connecticut Soccer League Championships in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994.  He

is currently a Program Manager for a non-profit rehabilitation company in Eastern Connecticut.

 

 

Bill Buscetto:  What made you want to become a high school coach?

Rob Brule: Warren Swanson asked me to help him out at WHS and you do not say no to Warren Swanson if he asks you to help him!

BB: How would you describe your coaching style?

RB: Passionate and competitive, but that may be better answered by my past players though, although most of them would probably say “poor.”

BB: Just the honest ones.  Seriously, what the coaching philosophy you try to live by.

RB: Coaching philosophy is simple:  “Treat a player as she is, she will remain as she is, treat a player as if she were what she could be and should be, she will become what she could be and should be”.

BB: What things are most important to you that your players take from your coaching?

RB: That I cared enough about my player and the team to put my personal and professional life on hold for 2 months a year to provide the highest quality experience a high school soccer player could have (and championships of course).

BB: What was the funniest moment of your career?

RB: Probably the funniest moment of my career came from the first year I started as asst coach.   When I was asked by then-Head Coach of the WHS girls team, Earl Reynolds at the first day of practice to hold his pack of cigarettes and the leash to his dog while took attendance.  Classic.

BB: What was the most embarrassing moment of your career?

RB: Well after 18 years I have had quite a few.  One that comes in pretty high was at Killingly HS in 2000 in 80 degree weather in October, I took my sweat pants off, forgetting I did not have shorts on, needless to say, I am lucky I still have a job.  Former Killingly coach Hank Rivers never let that one go. Haha

BB: Give me a favorite or top moment of your coaching career.

RB: Favorite moment without question was playing in the 2002 State Championship game after starting my career in 1994 0-16.

BB: What was the worst or most painful moment of your coaching career?

RB: Losing 2-0 to Avon in that game.

BB: Still thinking about what you could have done differently, etc right?

RB: Every night.

BB: What is something nobody knows about you, in regards to your coaching background or position?

RB; That I was a Division 1 scholarship player at the University of Maine and played semi-pro soccer for 5 years in the Connecticut Soccer League.

BB: What are some favorite stories you like to tell people about a former team or player?

RB: Most recently, last year we lost our 1st 2 games of the season and were 0-2 for the first time in 15 years. We had a nice little “talk” as a team and then went on to win 17 games in a row including the ECC Division and Tournament Titles.

Another favorite story would be when Katie Schoepfer was a freshman (before being a 4-Time ALL-NE player and ALL-American at Penn State).  She scored all 4 goals in a 4-0 win in the 2002 quarterfinals and then scored all 4 goals in a a 4-0 win in the semifinals in 2002 to get us to the State Final.

One I will always remember, 2002-2005 playing vs arch rival East Lyme and Hall of Fame Coach Milan Keser, at EL.  Milan would always have his 2 sons ball boy and whenever the ball went out and it was our ball, his kids would look the other way, pretend they didn’t see the ball, walk to get it for us, but when it went out for EL, they would sprint after it, couldn’t get to it quick enough..funny stuff… Haha

BB: When people talk about you as a coach…

RB: You kidding?? The parents do it all the time! I’m quite certain half the people say I don’t have a clue what I am doing and the other half believe what the other half says most of the time!

BB: When are you going to realize that most parents out there know the game better than you?  Luckily for me I never had to deal with that stuff…

RB: {Laughing out loud}, I forgot, you know what I mean…

BB: Give me one story about officials, good, bad or ugly.

RB: There is “good” seriously?  Over the years I actually had a referee who carried the CIAC rule book in his back pocket during the game, had one referee wear a Red Sox hat, I had one come in on a motorcycle, had a guy older than freakin’ Von Achen{Waterford Girls Basketball Coach Rob} show up with 2 knee braces, need I say more???

BB: Do you have any wacky parent stories?

RB: No comment. Haha. But I will say, they have been some of the greatest people I have known.  I grew up in Waterford and have lived here all my life, when I die I hope my coffin is royal blue.

BB: What coach do or did you always enjoying competing against the most?

RB: Milan Keser at East Lyme.  Teams of his always worked hard and came ready to play.  Plus I used to make fun of his heavy Yugoslavian accent when he was killing me 8-0!  But what a good man.  He will walk through fire for his friends and will always be remembered as one of the best.

BB: Finish this sentence: the best part about my coaching job is…

RB: The kids.  My wife and I don’t have kids of our own, so my players are sort of like “my kids”.  I enjoy being around them but love the fact that I don’t have to pay for their college.  Second,
Training.  I love going to training everyday and being around the kids and seeing them work hard.  When it is no longer fun going to practice, I know it’s time for a change.

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