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Marble Falls soccer coach says tough goodbye as he heads to Pflugerville

Marble Falls High School boys soccer head coach Michael Nave has accepted a coaching job at Pflugerville High School. Photo by Kelly McDuffie


MARBLE FALLS — Several reasons existed for Marble Falls High School boys soccer head coach Michael Nave to accept the same position at Pflugerville High School.

But he had two reasons for saying no: his Marble Falls High School players and the community.“There have only been two places I’ve ever lived at I called home,” he said, “here and Pryor, Okla., my hometown.”

But in the end, the reasons for leaving — Pflugerville High School having twice the enrollment of Marble Falls High School, Pflugerville’s block schedule and the chance to guide players to better finishes — were too much to say no to, and he accepted the Panthers job.

“They have a program that seems to have a lot of potential but hasn’t had a lot of success,” he said.

The Panthers have made three playoff appearances but haven’t won a playoff game yet. In that sense, Pflugerville and Marble Falls have plenty in common.

Nave guided the Mustangs to four playoff appearances, but they haven’t won in the postseason yet.

By going to Pflugerville, Nave will have three athletic periods.

“That’s enough time to work with the kids,” he said. “I’ll be coaching 50 percent of the day.”[box]The Nave File
• Guided Marble Falls to the playoffs in 2003, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Until his arrival, the Mustangs had never advanced to the postseason.
• His team has won their own Winter Classic twice, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished before.
• His team captured the Stephenville Tournament championship.
• He added a girls division to the Winter Classic[/box]

Nave came to Marble Falls because former head coach Rusty Oglesby, who guided Frisco Wakeland to the 2011 Class 4A state title, told him he was leaving. He knew of Nave’s desire to live in Central Texas. So Nave took a road trip to the area.

“It was easy to fall in love with,” he said.

Oglesby was a young head coach at the time but had started the Mustang Classic, the annual tournament played on opening weekend of soccer season.

“He set the table for who followed him, and that’s what I hope for who comes next,” Nave said.

The way Nave got to Pflugerville was very similar to how he became the head coach at Marble Falls.

Former Pflugerville High Assistant Principal Eddie Curran, now a member of the Pflugerville Independent School District’s human resources department, called Nave to tell him about the opening with the Cougars.

Curran worked with Nave, who had been with the Mustangs since 2002, at Marble Falls and thought he had the personality and leadership necessary for the Panthers.

“He told me I should look into it,” Nave said. “I’d be a good fit in there.”

Nave met with the Mustangs a few days ago and told them what they needed to do in the summer. Then he told them he was going to Pflugerville.

“They were shocked,” he said. “I guess it was unexpected. But kids are resilient. It’s not an easy thing to leave. I’m excited about the new job and sad to leave this here. It’s been really good to me.”