Saturday, April 13, 2024

Longtime assistant Alan Brinkmeier named SHS girls soccer coach

Sports Reporter | March 29, 2024 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — After 13 years as an assistant coach, Alan Brinkmeier, a 1999 Sandpoint graduate, will look to lead the Bulldogs to another state title this fall as the new head coach of the Sandpoint High girls’ soccer team.

Brinkmeier said the reason he chose to take on the head coaching role was due to the fact that he has helped to coach the current generation of players on various different levels and in different settings, noting he has known most of the players since they were little.

“Conor (Baranski) and I have the same philosophies, so not much will change,” Brinkmeier said in reference to Sandpoint High’s former head coach. “I want to continue the legacy that he and I have set in these players since a young age.”

What does that philosophy and legacy entail? One that is trying not just to create great soccer players, but also create good human beings off the field. Brinkmeier said that is achieved through a combination of how the program presents itself, with how coaches and players abide by the programs’ set standards, and giving back to and being involved with the local youth sporting community.

“I think that shows itself due to the fact that we have players returning,” Brinkmeier said. “Madi Schoening is on the coaching staff, Hattie Larson is now helping with the Pend Oreille Cup and the Strikers Organization. A lot of our players tend to give back to Sandpoint after graduation and it’s nice to see.”

Brinkmeier grew up in Sandpoint and started playing soccer at five years old. He reflected on the fond memories he has had with Sandpoint soccer, noting how back then Sandpoint played in the 5A classification and met teams like Boise and Lake City in the state tournament.

Outside of Sandpoint, Brinkmeier played for Pacific University (Oregon) for two years post-high school and had a stint with a men's premier team in Portland, Ore. He even coached for a couple of years in Portland before he came back home and started coaching on the club soccer scene in 2010. The first group of girls he coached just graduated college.

Brinkmeier said he is excited to get back to work and lead the girls to another deep postseason run.

“Now that we’re the most recent state champions, going down and having to defend our title will actually be bittersweet,” Brinkmeier said due to the fact that some teams at last year’s state title will be in different classifications starting next year, specifically rival Bishop Kelly, who Sandpoint is tied with in overall state championship wins. “We’ll create new rivalries when we go down there.”

Brinkmeier said that overall, he wants to thank Conor Baranski for his guidance since the beginning and for bringing him onto the staff as soon as he moved back to the area.

“It’s been fun and exciting so far,” Brinkmeier said. “I appreciate everything that Conor has done and I’m excited to move forward and see where we can take Sandpoint High School girls’ soccer.”