By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
For several years, Evan Sutherland has wanted to coach soccer at the high school level.
That, however, simply wasn’t possible because of Kentucky High School Athletic Association rules.
“If you coached kids in club (teams), you couldn’t coach them in high school,” Sutherland said.
Two years ago, that ruled changed.
And when the head coaching position of the Madison Central boys soccer became available last year, Sutherland was definitely interested.
“My brother coached here three years ago and I always thought if the opportunity came open that I’d like to look into it,” Sutherland said.
He got the job.
Sutherland will be the Indians’ fourth coach in the past five seasons (including his brother, Brock Sutherland 2010) and he is eager to take on a new challenge in his coaching career.
“You are trying to build a program over a long period of time in a short period,” Sutherland said. “The one thing is you get more time with these kids on a daily basis then you would at the club level. You may get a kid for 90 minutes a day a couple of times a week. Here, I get these kids a couple of times a day.”
Sutherland has had success as a coach and a player.
He played at West Jessamine and advanced to the regional final in 1999 as a senior. Sutherland went on to play at the University of the Cumberlands and Alderson-Broaddus (a Division II school in West Virginia).
Sutherland was as an assistant for four years with the Georgetown College men’s soccer team and also worked with the school’s women’s team for a couple of seasons.
Recently, he has served as the director of coaching for Bluegrass Soccer Club in Versailles, coached for the Kentucky State Olympic Development Program (ODP) and coached several teams for the Lexington Futbol Club.
During his vast experience at the club level, Sutherland has worked with several current Madison Central players — including Logan Baker, Addison McCoy, Luke Hall and Chad Barnes and many of the squad’s younger talent.
“There are a lot of freshman on this team that I have not been the head coach of, but I have been able to work with for a long time,” Sutherland said.
Through his club teams or his work at Madison Indoor, Sutherland has become quite familiar with almost every player who will be on this year’s Central roster.
“Being in Richmond (the past couple of years) and working at Madison Indoor, I see these kids year-round,” Sutherland said. “I didn’t know the amount of talent in this city until I got here.”
Central will have 12 seniors this year, but will still have a relatively young squad.
The Indians went 8-12 last year and lost in the district semifinals.
Sutherland has implemented a new system which focuses on ball possession and controlling tempo.
He hopes the change will play off this season and for many years to come.
“Long-term were are looking four or five years down the road,” Sutherland said. “But, are expecting to have a great season.”