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Sports from the week of August 3, 2005

Soupir ends successful Tracy Coaching Career

By Dick Donaldson

It is the end of an era for the Panther girls’ basketball and volleyball programs. Long-time Panther Coach Paul Soupir has resigned from his position as co-head basketball coach.

Back in 1986 when Tracy and Milroy paired, Milroy Coach Terry Culhane joined the Tracy-Milroy staff. He brought with him Paul Soupir as a volunteer assistant coach. Culhane coached both volleyball and basketball for T-M until the coaching job in Marshall opened up and he joined the Marshall coaching staff. Shorty Engel then returned as head basketball coach until the 1999-2000 season when Paul took over as head coach.

Since that time Paul’s basketball team has always been very competitive. In six years his teams have won 97 games and lost only 49. Twice his team reached the finals of the sub-section tournament, winning it in 2001-2002 when they were the runner-up in the section tournament.

“We will miss Paul very much,” said Ric Haberman, who has shared the head coaching job with Paul the last few years and will take over the reins now. “He has done an excellent job. He gets along well with the kids and is very sound fundamentally and is a good strategist.”

“I have enjoyed coaching at Tracy/Milroy/Balaton very much,” said Soupir. “I have met people who will be friends of mine for life and the kids have been wonderful to work with. We have had a lot of success over the years and it is difficult to leave.”

Paul is not leaving coaching. He will continue his long-time association with Terry Culhane, now the head volleyball coach at SMSU in Marshall.

“The reason I am leaving coaching at T/M/B is that my kids are getting involved in athletics and I want to be free to follow them,” said Soupir. “My association with T.C. will allow me to do that and I can still stay involved with coaching.”

During Paul’s coaching days at T-M and T/M/B the Panthers have won three state championships in basketball and seven state championships in volleyball.

“I am leaving the coaching reins in the excellent hands of Ric Haberman,” said Soupir. “He is a wonderful coach and has a way with kids.”

Paul has been working toward this decision for some time now and has shared head coaching responsibilities with Haberman in order to make the transition smoother.