Wyborney takes over Souhegan girls soccer

AMHERST – For the second time in five months, a Nashua High School North varsity coach is leaving to take a similar position at Souhegan High School.

Dan Wyborney has stepped down as the Titans girls soccer coach and is taking the same job at Souhegan. However, Wyborney will remain a teacher at Nashua South and the Panthers’ girls basketball coach, a position he’s also held the last few years.

Early in the winter, Keith Bertrand left North boys lacrosse to be the Souhegan boys mentor this spring. In both cases, the new Saber coaches happen to be Amherst residents, giving that as a main reason for the switch.

“A lot of it is where I live,” said Wyborney, whose six-year reign at North produced a 10-win team (2014) and three quarterfinal appearances. “It’s my hometown, my family can get involved. It’s a chance to rebuild a little of what is there, and add my own little recipe.”

Wyborney did just that with North, which was a floundering program which had suffered mightily after The Split until the Titans won their first tournament game under Wyborney in 2013. North underwent a rebuilding year last fall and missed the tournament for the first time in five years.

“We looked at his resume and we were impressed,” Souhegan athletic director Dick Miller said. “We had four real good candidates, some were from the club system, head coaches but not necessarily at the high school level. Dan was appealing as he worked in a high school. We’re real excited to have him on board.”

“We’re really sad to lose Dan,” Nashua athletic director Lisa Gingras said. “He’s a great coach, great person, great role model for the kids. … It’s sad we’re going to lose him to Souhegan but it’s understandable; it’s easier for his family, close to home.”

Miller said that Wyborney’s organizational skills stood out, but also his ability to take programs to another level. Before arriving at North, he had guided Manchester Memorial to a couple of (then) Class L semifinal appearances.

“He’s got a proven track record, working with girls programs and developing them and getting them to a point,” Miller said. “It’s not like he’s here and gone again. He’s in it for the long run. We’re excited about that and we’ll see where it takes us.”

Unlike with North, Wyborney takes over a program with a proud championship tradition. The Sabers last won it all back in 2013, and Wyborney replaces Amy Sparks, who took a similar coaching job in Vermont after three tournament years (25-20-4) at the Saber helm.

“The tradition is definitely appealing,” Wyborney said. “It shows that the players there have had the maturity and attack mentality to go after it.”

Wyborney met with the Nashua North players late last week and has said he would help out with any transition to a new coach if needed.

“If I didn’t feel the girls could continue with what I put place, it’d be more of a concern and difficult decision,” Wyborney said. “But they have what it takes to be successful. That made my decision a little easier in trying to see whether it was a good time for me to leave or not.”

Now Gingras has to find a replacement, sooner rather than later. She said that the next step is to post the position, and that’s up to the district’s human resources department as to when that takes place. After that, there’s a 10 day posting period before interviews can take place.

“There have been some people in the area that have expressed interest,” said Gingras, who added both the girls programs at North and South need JV coaches as well. “I’m hoping (to hire a new coach) sooner rather than later, before school is out if possible, or by July 1. But we’ll just have to see.”