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SportsHigh School SportsVarsity Letters

A conversation with former Calvert Hall boys soccer coach Bill Karpovich

Varsity Letters caught up with legendary Calvert Hall soccer coach Bill Karpovich, who will be honored Friday during halftime of the school's home varsity soccer game against Mount Saint Joseph.

Karpovich coached from 1967 to 1997 and finished with a 422-85-33 career record and 19 championships in the Maryland Scholastic Association and Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association.

He also taught math at Calvert Hall from 1967-2001 and was the department chair from 1968 to 1987.

A pregame reception will take place in the Paul Angelo Russo Dining Hall from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the game will begin at 7 p.m.

What have you been up to since retiring as coach?

I was playing a lot of golf and then went through a series of operations, so that's curtailed some of my physical activites. But I still grab lunch with a bunch of guys, I do a little bit of  shopping and get around.  My wife is still working, which is amazing, and I'm sitting here working your crossword puzzles.  I still read the Sun paper from front to back.

What was it like coaching soccer all those years at Calvert Hall?

I had fantastic talent -- it's unbelievable to talk about it.  Like the game between Calvert Hall and Mount St. Joseph [Friday] night, both those coaches [Calvert Hall's Rich Zinkand and Mount St. Joe' s Mike St. Martin] played for me. They were great players, champions in 1985, '86 and two great kids with great families. My thoughts about all that, I've had calls from like California -- people who have played for me and who I taught -- and they say "Congratulations." I say, "for what? I've been done coaching for some time!"

How rewarding is it knowing you made a such a big impact on so many former players and students?

That's the reward of knowing that you've done something worthwhile. I got a call from Mike Kleinert, an excellent player who graduated in 1989 and went on to the University of Maryland on a soccer scholarship.  Now he's a coach and he said all the drills we did, all the things we practiced, he uses every day. To hear that from so many former players who are now coaching is unbelievable. That's why you do it. I felt the same way about the kids I taught calculus to.  My doctor who operated on me for my knee and hip is a former student of mine, and he still remembers things from class.  It makes you feel like you did something good.

What was the favorite drill you used in practice?

We really did a lot of small-sided games -- four aside and six aside and stuff like six [versus] four. We had drills where you only had one or two touches in a contained area. We didn't do much scrimmaging at all, it was more small games and keeping the ball moving and nobody holding on to the ball.  If you had more than two touches that was it -- you lose the ball and it went the other way.  You wanted to get the 2-on-1's and 3-on-2's --- those advantages -- and you had to do it quickly with only one or two touches. That's what we emphasized the whole time.

Does any one moment stand out the most?

The whole time? [laughs]. Huh.  You're talking about 35 years of coaching! We had some great moments, and I can think of some great individual efforts. I think about my son [Bill, Jr.] getting four goals in the championship game against Curley in 1986. That was big.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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