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Waterloo Columbus girls soccer coach Julie Girsch honored as NFHS central section coach of the year

WATERLOO — Columbus Catholic High School is excited to announce that our head girls’ soccer coach, Julie Girsch, has secured a pair of prestigious honors.

Girsch was recently selected by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) as the Central Section Girls Soccer Coach of the Year. Also the 2021 NFHS Iowa Girls Soccer State Coach of the Year, Girsch is one of eight girls soccer coaches across the nation to earn a regional honor based on her coaching performance during the 2020-21 school year, lifetime community involvement, school involvement and philosophy of coaching.

In addition to the NFHS honor, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union announced Monday that Girsch has also been tabbed the state’s 2022 CHARACTER COUNTS! Coach of the Year.

Girsch will receive the CHARACTER COUNTS! award during halftime of Friday night’s Class 3A state championship girls’ basketball game.  This award honors a worthy coach who embodies the Six Pillars of Character — Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. Rather than spotlight winning records and isolated acts of heroism or generosity, the award was conceived to recognize individuals whose coaching lives and achievements demonstrate an enduring commitment to qualities associated with good character.

Under Girsch’s leadership, Columbus has amassed a 106-43 record in nine seasons with nine trips to the regional finals and five state tournament appearances. A two-time Class 1A Northeast District Coach of the Year and 2016 Iowa High School Soccer Coaches Association Coach of the Year, Girsch has coached several players to all-academic, all-district and all-state accolades. She has also served as a member of the IGHSAU Girls Soccer Advisory Committee.

Girsch works as a Special Education Instructional Coach for the Waterloo Community School District. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, and three girls; Sophia, Ella and Gia.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been selected to receive the IGHSAU Character Counts Coach of the Year. I am so honored to have my work recognized in this way by the IGHSAU and Character Counts Committee. I am also extremely honored to be recognized at the national level by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

These accomplishments are not something I did alone, and there are many others who deserve to share these awards. I would like to thank Hailee Bossard (assistant coach) who is right alongside me in supporting all Six Pillars of Character. Together we create an inclusive, trusting, and safe environment for our players, and I am grateful for her. Also, thank you to our past and present players and families. I am so blessed to be able to surround myself with the most genuine and compassionate people. As a result, it continues to challenge me and make me a better coach each year. Thank you to Columbus Catholic High School and staff for supporting the mission of the girls soccer program and giving me the opportunity to work with such amazing young female athletes.

I hope this recognition of my work can serve as an inspiration to others in the field. I will continue to serve young athletes on and off the soccer field by instilling trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship for many years to come. I am humbled and appreciative. Thank you.”

  • Julie Girsch, Columbus Catholic Head Girls Soccer Coach

“Julie’s passion, dedication, compassion, organization and leadership has helped equip members of the Columbus Catholic girls soccer program with a blueprint towards becoming successful women that serve their community with integrity. We are thankful for the impact Julie and her assistant coach, Hailee Bossard, have made over the past decade.”

  • Nick Petaros, Columbus Catholic Activities Supervisor

Cole Bair

Cole Bair is Program Director and hosts 'Cole & Company' from 5-6pm weekdays on 1650 - 102.3 The Fan. Follow him on Twitter @realcolebair.
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