by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Greg Shoults will not return as head coach of the Hudson boys soccer team.
Shoults said he was informed of the decision during a recent meeting with Hudson athletic director Ray Ebersole.
Shoults, who made $7,120 as Hudson's head coach, guided the Explorers to a pair of district final games during his three-year tenure. Shoults, who also spent nine years as either a varsity assistant or junior varsity boys coach at Hudson, finished 30-19-5 as the team's head coach.
The Explorers posted a 10-5-4 record and shared the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division title with Twinsburg in 2012. Hudson lost a 1-0 decision to eventual state semifinalist Aurora in last year's district title game at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
"My first impression was surprise," Shoults said. "It's definitely one of the better jobs in the coaching field. [Hudson athletic director] Ray [Ebersole] started out by saying that we won't be able to offer you a contract for coaching. He basically told me that they were moving in a different direction and were looking for a different voice."
Ebersole said it was a "decision by the district about seven to 10 days ago."
"We made a decision not to offer a continuing contract," he said. "We wanted to see if we could take the boys soccer program in a different direction. The position has been posted internally. We'll most likely have a secondary posting very soon to see who the candidates are."
Shoults was an assistant coach when Hudson won the Division I state title in 2002. That team also was ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to a poll done by Student Sports Magazine.
Shoults also spent 10 years as a coach of the Cuyahoga Falls boys soccer team. He was the team's head coach for nine years. Shoults guided the Black Tigers to a regional final game during his first year as Falls head coach.
Shoults, who is retired, was a teacher in Cuyahoga Falls for nearly three decades. He spent 21 years at Sill Middle School and seven years at Bolich Middle School.
Shoults said he planned to coach at Hudson "as long as possible."
"Nothing was indicated that there was a major problem of any sort," he said. "We had our end-of-the-season banquet and we invited the principal and the superintendent. They wrote back saying they would be unable to attend, but they told us they were very happy with the successful season."
Shoults said he was considered satisfactory or better in all areas during his previous two evaluations.
"I always felt we could have done better and the kids felt they could have done better," he said. "It's their right to do this [not offer a contract] and there are no guarantees. I just wish they would have told me what I needed to improve."
Shoults knew there was pressure when he took over as head coach.
"Hudson has always been a very successful program," he said. "There are a lot of expectations from the parents and the school system. It comes with the territory. Some people would love to be in that situation and some people want no part of it. I really enjoyed it."
Shoults plans to continue his role as the director of coaching for the Hudson United youth program, a position he has held for the last 12 years.
"I would like to continue coaching," he said. "I've been doing it for 35 years. I enjoyed my opportunity to work with the players. I worked with them for three or four years in the youth program and then I watched them develop and grow on the high school level.
"I also had the pleasure of having a terrific staff assist me. We felt like we were moving in the right direction."