PHS boys’ soccer coach steps down

Jeff Dent coached Panthers for two seasons


Citing an ever-increasing work schedule, Powell High School head boys’ soccer coach Jeff Dent has resigned after two seasons at the helm of the program.

“I decided to step down after much thinking this summer,” Dent said. “I’ve been doing a lot of out-of-town work, so I haven’t been here to get the guys together to practice and play in tournaments, things like that. I just don’t feel like I’m doing them a service by not being around.”

PHS Athletic Director Tim Wormald said Dent brought to the Panthers “a passion for the game of soccer that drove him to work hard for our students.”

“He [Dent] fostered discipline and work ethic among his players and helped them grow as young men,” Wormald added. “We will miss his enthusiasm and love for the game.”

PHS will begin advertising the coaching position after the first of the year, according to Wormald.

“Soccer coach can be a difficult position to fill in Powell, so we will open the position up to candidates from both inside and outside the district,” he said. “I have heard of a couple people interested in the position, but nothing is official at this point because the position has not even been posted.”

Under Dent, the Panthers compiled a 7-21-2 record over two seasons. That was highlighted by a state tournament berth last spring. After a slow start to 2018, Powell continued improving over the course of the season, culminating in an overtime shootout win against Douglas in the state tournament play-in game. It was the Panthers’ first post-season appearance since 2016.

“We have a lot of skilled players that, with some more time on the pitch, would feel more comfortable and do some great things,” Dent said. “I felt like I couldn’t do that for them because of my work situation. That was most of it. I’m trying to get my own shop running, and it’s taken up a lot of time.”

The electrician recently began his own business, called Opportunity Electric.

Dent said he’s spoken to a few of his returning players, and while there is some disappointment, he believes the team will be in good shape for the next coach.

“It’s kind of a painful situation, but for the good of our soccer program, they need a coach that’s here and able to make things happen,” he said. “That would be a more valuable asset at this point.”

Dent said he’ll miss watching the players continue to grow and improve — both in their soccer abilities and in their lives.

“You get the younger players you have to butt heads with a few times, then they get older, and they turn into awesome young men and awesome athletes,” he said. “You can see the change and the growth in them, and that is what’s the most exciting part of the whole coaching scenario.”

Though his tenure with the Panthers may be at an end, Dent said he’d be open to coaching again in the future, either with Powell Rec or Heart Mountain United.

“We’ll see what my schedule looks like,” he said. “If my shop gets going and gets some traction, which it’s doing, and I’m able to spend more time in town, I’d love to do that with the younger kids.

“I’ll definitely miss it, but I think it’s for the best at this point,” Dent said. “It took all summer to come to this conclusion — it wasn’t an easy decision.”