SANDPOINT — Citing the desire to spend more time with family and feeling like the moment was right for a change, longtime successful soccer coach Adam Tajan tendered his resignation this week as the head boys soccer coach at Sandpoint High School.
Tajan stewarded both powerhouse soccer programs during his 15 years as head coach, compiling a stellar record of 185-70-40 and putting scores of players into the college ranks. During his eight years as the girls head coach he won state titles in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2009, while his seven years as the boys head coach yielded one state title in 2012.
Few coaches put more effort into their program than Tajan, who simply felt like the time was right to hand the baton on to someone new.
“I’ve had some things go down family-wise that forced me to re-evaluate where a lot of my time is going. My family is getting bigger, and I want to spend more time with them,” said Tajan, who has a 3-year-old daughter. “The program is in need of different energy and ideas. It’s a good time to transition somebody new in there to carry the torch.”
Tajan was a homegrown Bulldog, playing soccer for Ed Bock before graduating from Sandpoint in 1995. He went on to play two seasons at Spokane Falls Community College, then another two at Colorado State Pueblo before returning home to coach high school and club soccer.
He listed two memories when asked for the biggest highlights over a decade and a half.
“My last year with the girls (2009), and my state championship year with the boys (2012) were definitely the highlights through the 15 years,” recalled Tajan. “A girls senior class that was small but exceptional, and everything came together. With the boys team, I don’t think it was necessarily a group we expected to win state with, but that senior class combined with a talented junior group that was super hungry; that was a fun year as well. Every season has its moments. You don’t ever question what you’re doing.”
Tajan played at Sandpoint before the sport became sanctioned in Idaho high schools, back when games were played in the spring. The Bulldogs were a powerhouse then, much as they are today, with banners galore to prove it.
Tajan credits Bock with instilling a love of soccer that still thrives today.
“A lot of my drive toward coaching and interest in it was from a wonderful high school soccer experience,” described Tajan. “I’ve been honored to try and carry on that tradition. Ed was a big part of that.”
Tajan plans to continue teaching PE and health at Sandpoint Middle School, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he ends up coaching his daughter should the chance arise.
He told his team that he’s still going to be around, and will try and help out when he can, but the full time gig is over for now. Tajan was asked what he’ll miss most.
“The camaraderie of it all. Being part of the team. Seeing the team every day, whether games, practices, bus rides, team events, it’s hard to step away from,” admitted Tajan, who still kicks the ball around as part of the Green Monarchs adult team. “It’s been part of my life for a long time. I also look forward to more time with family.”
Sandpoint athletic director Kris Knowles plans to open the position up next week, and go about filling some big shoes. He admitted he was stating the obvious when calling Tajan’s resignation a huge loss for the program and school.
“His passion, experience and love for soccer in Sandpoint is unparalleled,” said Knowles, noting the storied program is in great shape. “We wish Adam well in his future endeavors and there will always be a place for him here at SHS.”