Schwan in, Murray out as Vikings’ soccer coach

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Montgomery boys’ soccer team has a new coach to lead the Vikings’ defense of last season’s North Coast Section title with Jon Schwan moving over from rival Santa Rosa.

Outgoing coach Mike Murray was not brought back after his first season as Montgomery’s varsity coach. School officials did not return calls from The Press Democrat to explain the decision.

“It was just an opportunity for me to go back home, where I went to school, where I coached before,” Schwan said.

Schwan was the Montgomery boys’ junior varsity coach for two seasons before taking over the Santa Rosa varsity boys two years ago. He led the Panthers to the NCS title game that first season.

Following Schwan as the Montgomery boys’ junior varsity coach was Murray, who earlier had been the Elsie Allen girls’ junior varsity coach. Murray took over the Montgomery boys’ varsity post last season and led the Vikings to the section title.

Then school officials reopened the position. Both Schwan and Murray applied.

“It’s a very odd situation,” Murray said. “There were no issues, there was nothing going on during the season. It was a fantastic year all the way around.”

A year ago Schwan did not apply for the Montgomery opening that was followed by Murray’s hiring. Schwan said he felt more comfortable seeking the job this time because Santa Rosa has strong players moving up from its undefeated junior varsity team, making the varsity job attractive.

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity they gave me. I will always have a very special place in my heart for Santa Rosa,” he said. “The program should be in good shape moving forward.”