Mark Layne will take over the helm of the Radford High School boys soccer program when the season starts in the spring. He takes over for Greg Wade, who is stepping down after over 300 wins and several state titles to concentrate on his duties as athletic director.
Layne, who’s a Radford alumnus, is excited about the opportunity.
“I played when I was in high school and the chance to give something back was exciting to me. It’s a dream job, but I certainly didn’t expect the opportunity to come this quick.”
He is familiar with the program having served as the boys jayvee coach and a varsity assistant for the past few years. When Wade stepped down after the state championship game last season where Radford finished as the runner-up, Layne had some decisions to make and it was a no-brainer in wanting to continue to move the Bobcat program forward.
Layne has worked in travel and recreation soccer for the past 10 years with the Roanoke Star Soccer Club and New River United.
“I’ve made a lot of friends and helped to develop some great players over the years. I enjoy going through the schedule each season to see who (sic) I’ll run into,” he said.
The new varsity coach is excited about the prospects within the Bobcat soccer program.
“We have a lot of talent coming through the school system right now. I want to set a foundation that will keep the program strong for years to come. When we see our seniors off in the spring, we need to make sure we can fill the void without missing a step,” he said.
The school graduated 10 guys a year ago, and by every definition, last season looked to be a rebuilding year.
“We got off to a rough start, but the boys really came together as a team. The deeper we went into the playoffs, the better we were. It certainly didn’t end the way we had hoped, but our boys have the character and pride to make another run,” Layne said.
The school will move up to the 2A classification this season, but for the most part, it had already been playing a 2A schedule for the past few years because of the lack of 1A soccer teams in the region.