By Kaytlyn Poberznick & Alex Galenza
Charles O’Toole has been a part of the NAIT athletics team since 2009. He played the role of assistant coach for his first three years and switched over to head coach for the remainder of his time.
The two-time head coach of the year played for NAIT prior to joining the coaching staff. He was the top scorer in the country during his two years on the team, setting a record that still stands today: 53 goals in 16 games.
O’Toole believes that retirement isn’t necessarily the word he’d like to use to describe his departure from NAIT.
“I’m not sure anyone really retires. They just slow down or take a step back but somehow always stay involved in something they love and enjoy. My time at NAIT as a player and coach has been extremely rewarding,” O’Toole said in an interview with NAIT Athletics.
“I accomplished everything that I could possibly want to do. However, I think my greatest satisfaction has been that the players I have been involved with are still playing the game.”
The men’s soccer team didn’t have an easy path this season, but given the circumstances of working through a pandemic, O’Toole believes this was his best season yet.
“Our last season was probably the most rewarding given the adversity the team coped with,” said O’Toole.
O’Toole can credit much of his success to his hard work and love for the game, but since gaining a position with NAIT, he still praises those he worked alongside.
“Working with Jordan Richey (NAIT’s Athletics Manager), his predecessor, Gregg Meropolus, and the other athletic department staff through the years was an absolute pleasure,” said O’Toole.
“I’m sure I caused them many headaches over the years, but they were always there to help me. They allowed me to grow as a coach. We won everything as a team and on an individual basis. We set many records along that journey and have sent many players on to professional academies and professional careers.”
“NAIT has a strong academic and athletic commitment to its student-athletes and always supports their coaches, and I have been privileged to have been a part of this institution and its success. I wish NAIT and its soccer program continued success.”
With this retirement comes new opportunities for other coaches. Jeff Paulus, the head coach for the women’s soccer team, will be taking over O’Toole’s position. Alesha Weicker-Pasternak, who worked alongside Paulus as an assistant coach this past season, will be taking over the head coach position for the women’s team.
(Cover Photo from NAIT Ooks via Flickr)