After 16 years, Pat Gray Steps Down as Girls Varsity Soccer Head Coach
From outside of Philadelphia, PA to Pasadena, CA, Pat Gray joined the Poly community in 2004. In Pennsylvania, Gray coached at Germantown Academy, first coaching the boys team, and taking over the girls team for his last five years there. The transition to Poly’s girls soccer team was seamless. A historically strong program, Gray took over the girls Varsity program and continued to make program history by appearing in the CIF-SS playoffs 12 times at the helm. Coach Gray was also named Southern California Coach of the year by the California Coaches Association in 2015.
A moment that Gray remembers with fondness is from 2013, when the team hosted the powerhouse team from Oaks Christian in the semi-final match. The underdog Panthers won, defeating Oaks Christian. After this exciting victory, the entire Poly community rallied around the team, rushed the field, and created a human tunnel for the girls to run under as they had done in their AYSO days. Five years ago, Gray took on the role of Middle School Director. Recognizing his love and passion for the sport, Poly gave him the opportunity to be both director and head Varsity coach.
After five years of juggling his two roles, Gray feels it is time to step down. Gray explains, “I found that my attention was split between the Middle School and the team, and even though that love and passion has not waned, I felt that the team deserved to have someone who could give it the full attention it deserves. This just felt like the right time, as much as it hurts my heart.” He laments that he will miss the connections he has made with the players, the daily catch-up before practices, and the van rides to games. He will be forever grateful for the support of his assistant coaches, Heidi Strauss and Jamie Bell.
Gray will continue to be a presence on campus as Poly’s Middle School Director, but will now watch the games from the stands instead of the sideline. From the Athletics Department: We thank you for the 16 years of hard work you have dedicated to the girls Varsity soccer team and to Poly’s girls soccer program as a whole. It has been a pleasure watching you share your love and passion for the sport with your players throughout the years.