HOOSICK, N.Y. >> A familiar face will roam the Hoosick Falls girls soccer sideline again after a short absence.
Tom Husser, who won three New York state championships with the Panthers, will take over for Brittany Pine this fall, returning to his role as head coach.
"Brit wasn't coming back and so Ken [Facin, the Hoosick Falls Central School superintendent] asked if I wanted to come back," Husser said. "It was late in the game, so I think it was an easier fix."
Husser won the program's first championship in 2005 and followed up a few years later with a title in 2011 and a shared championship in 2012. In his 13 seasons, he led the Panthers to 225 wins, six sectional titles and nine sectional final appearances.
After the 2013 season, Husser stepped away to become the school's athletic director. Husser, who has been the Hoosick athletic director for the past two years, was told by the school board in December 2013 that as the athletic director, he couldn't coach at the same time.
At the June 2016 meeting, the board approved Husser, who has also been the coordinator of Section II girls soccer for several years, to return as coach and keep his athletic director spot as well.
Husser said he didn't immediately say yes, discussing the opportunity first with his wife, Angela.
"She's pretty supportive, but we do have another grandchild coming in August," Husser said. "She said I could do it but I have some things planned because this wasn't on my agenda. Then I did what I used to do and met with the seniors."
Pine was the coach for the past two seasons, leading the Panthers to a 29-7-1 record.
"Brittany played for me for four years, then coached with me for another four," Husser said. "She kept the program going, it's not been broken."
None of the players on next year's varsity played for Husser, so there's no carryover. But as athletic director, Husser sees the players just about every day, so the familiarity is there.
Patrick Dailey will come on as an assistant coach, while Sara Kreiger and Christina Stebbins will coach at the sub-varsity levels. Hoosick Falls will be in Class B again this season, missing the lower cutoff by eight students.
Jordyn Haynes graduates, but players including Taylor Mann, Darien Morgan and Angela Gonzalez will return for the Panthers.
"The kids seem happy and I'm happy to be back," Husser said. "It'll be fun."