It was a historic fall for the Sun Prairie High School boys soccer program, claiming its first Big Eight Conference championship on the final night of the season.
Conference coaches recognized the Cardinals' Chris Mitchell, naming him Big Eight Co-Coach of the Year. Now another member of the Sun Prairie staff has been honored for his work in helping the team reach the rare height – it was just the third time a team other than Madison West, Madison Memorial or Middleton has won or shared the conference title in the 27-year history of Big Eight boys soccer.
Sun Prairie's Vince Padilla (Ripon College) was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
"Always, and I say always, Vince has a large role in the planning and execution of our training sessions. I value his voice so much," Mitchell wrote in nominating Padilla for the regional award. "I ask so much of Vince, and he always steps up, always. You won't find a more loyal assistant coach, but also a guy that isn't afraid to propose new ideas to make our team, and program, better."
Padilla previously coached the Lodi girls program from 2003 to '11 and led the school's boys team from 2006 to '10. A native of New Mexico, he also was a founding member of Sun Prairie SC and currently coaches in the club. As a regional honoree, Padilla was one of four finalists for the national award, which went to Bill Barker of Oviedo (Fla.).
- Herbie Dundun (UW-Green Bay) stepped down after 12 seasons as boys coach at Brookfield East. Dundun led the Spartans to six WIAA state tournament appearances, including the Division 2 state title in 2014 and a runner-up finish in Division 1 in 2006. East finished 10-7-3 overall and tied for second in the Greater Metro Conference with a 5-1-1 record last fall. A native of Nigeria who was an all-conference player for the Phoenix, Dundun was named the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association Large Schools Coach of the Year in 2010 and the National Federation of State High Schools Associations Wisconsin Coach of the Year in 2011. He also was an assistant to Geoff Ziedler with the Spartans' storied 1995 team that went 29-0-0, won the Division 1 state championship and finished the season ranked first in the nation by USA Today. Dundun, who also has been a successful coach for adult and youth clubs in the Milwaukee area, was inducted into the Wisconsin Soccer Hall of Fame last March.
- Jonathan Stahr (Milwaukee Thomas More/UW-Milwaukee) was promoted to boys head coach at his alma mater. Stahr, who also is an assistant in the Cavaliers' girls program, succeeds Kevin Dineen as boys coach. Dineen coached at Thomas More for nine years, the past seven as head coach, and was the WSCA Private Schools Coach of the Year in 2014 after leading the Cavaliers to the Division 4 state final. Thomas More won the Metro Classic Conference last fall and finished 7-6-2 overall.