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Twitter: @MiSoccerNetwork

TROY – Todd Heugh remembers a time not long ago when his son Jake was running around the soccer pitch after a girls soccer regional game celebrating.


The problem was that his team had just suffered a season-ending defeat.


“I remember that my son was running around thinking that we won but we had actually lost,” recalled Heugh, 51. “He was just a young kid and didn’t really have clue. But I’ll never forget that moment. He was glad to be there on the sidelines with his dad and celebrating.”


Heugh has had many great moments and celebrations on the soccer pitch as both a player and coach, but that chapter has come to an end. Heugh, who spent 28 years as a head coach or an assistant coach at the high school ranks and more than a dozen years coaching club soccer in southeast Michigan, stepped down last week from his head boys soccer and girls soccer coaching position at Athens after 13 seasons with the boys and 12 with the girls.


Heugh was only the second coach in program history (2011-2023). He had replaced the legendary coach Tim Storch in the summer of 2011 after Storch coached some three decades (1981-2011) with the Red Hawks, who began their boys soccer program in 1981 and girls soccer program in 1982.


Heugh became the school’s athletics director at the end of June of 2023 after Bob Dowd retired having served in that position from 1996-2023. Heugh was also a player in the Athens system for four years (1986-1989) before graduating in 1990.


“I gave it a lot of though these last few months,” noted Heugh. “We have a great staff in place and I felt that this will give me more time to solely be the A.D. We posted the job (recently) and should have a new coach in place here in the next couple of weeks.


“I felt it was time,” continued Heugh. “I will get a chance to see my son play lacrosse more – he’s a senior. And I will be able to be even more dedicated to being the Athens A.D.”


Heugh grew up playing club soccer in Troy and was a part of two Final Four teams while as a student-athlete at Athens in the late 1980s. The Red Hawks were Class A state semifinalists in the fall of 1988, losing to Brimingham Brother Rice in the Final Four, while coming back to claim the Class A state championship in 1989 with a victory over Plymouth Salem. Heugh was a two-year starter for Athens.


Heugh attended two school years at Eastern Michigan University and competed two seasons with the Eagles (then Hurons) in 1990 and 1991 under veteran Chris Corteg. In 1992 he transferred to Wayne State University to complete his teaching degree.


In the spring of 1996, Heugh received a teaching position in the Troy School District teaching at the elementary school level. He applied for the Athens junior-varsity boys soccer coaching position, but the Troy High junior-varsity boys soccer position was also open at that time.


“The district A.D. at the time put me into the Troy position because the coach they had at that time was an elementary teacher, too, and I would have similar release times (from class) so they gave me the (sub-varsity) coaching position at Troy.”


During his first season as a junior-varsity coach and varsity assistant, Troy reached the Class A state title game in boys soccer in 1996. That was the first of many Final Four trips that Heugh enjoyed as an assistant coach or head coach during his 28-year career.


1996: Assistant varsity coach/junior-varsity coach for Troy boys soccer – Class A state runner-up.

2002: Head coach for Rochester boys soccer – Division 1 state champions.

2007: Head coach for Rochester girls soccer – Division 1 state runner-up.

2015: Head coach for Troy Athens girls soccer – Division 1 state semifinalists.

2016: Head coach for Troy Athens boys soccer – Division 1 state runner-up.

2019: Head coach for Troy Athens boys soccer – Division 1 state champions.

2020: Head coach for Troy Athens boys soccer – Division 1 state semifinalists.

2021: Head coach for Troy Athens girls soccer – Division 1 state runner-up.

2023: Head coach for Troy Athens boys soccer – Division 1 state champions.


While Heugh coached for various age levels in the club soccer ranks for clubs such as the Metro Stars and Vardar SC, he earned his first head coaching position in 2000 at nearby Rochester High, quickly converting the Falcons program back into a state-ranked powerhouse. His 2002 squad captured Rochester’s first and only state championship in boys soccer. He also took over Rochester’s girls soccer program in the spring of 2001.


Heugh had several championship-level teams while at Rochester, including four straight OAA Division I/Red Division titles from 2002-2005 – the only school to win four straight league titles in boys soccer since the OAA’s inception in 1994. He has coached numerous state-ranked teams and squads that claimed league, district and regional titles.

Rochester’s girls soccer team finished as the Division 1 state runner-up in 2007 as a nationally-ranked team, losing to Novi that year, and Heugh’s Falcons remained relevant during his tenure after that run.


In 2011, Tim Storch retired from teaching and coaching at Troy Athens and Heugh would later claim that head coach position at his alma mater for both boys soccer and girls soccer – where Athens has remained a high-level program that continues to compete for championships on an annual basis.


Under Heugh, Athens has reached the Division 1 Final Four six total times – four with the boys soccer program and twice with the girls soccer program. The Athens girls soccer program began that run in 2015 with a berth in the Division 1 state semifinals and a defeat to Grand Blanc.


Athens would finish as the state runner-up in boys soccer in 2016, falling to perennial powerhouse East Kentwood on penalty kicks, and later captured its first Division 1 state title since 1997 by winning the state crown in 2019 with a win over Traverse City West. The Red Hawks again reached the Final Four in 2020 in boys soccer, falling short this time against that same Traverse City West program.


The Troy Athens girls soccer team added another trophy to the case in 2021, as the Red Hawks finished as the Division 1 state runner-up that year, while the Red Hawks boys soccer team captured the school’s seventh state title in boys soccer last November with an overtime victory over Brighton.

That turned out to be the last under Heugh.


During his tenure as a head coach between Rochester and Troy Athens – both are current and inaugural members of the OAA – Heugh has amassed a 584-168-124 overall record with 13 conference championships, 18 district crowns, eight regional titles, eight Final Four appearances, six state finals appearances, three state championships and three state runners-up finishes.


“I enjoyed my time at Rochester and I enjoyed my time at Athens,” offered Heugh, whose entire coaching career was in Oakland County where he grew up. “I think if the Athens job never opened up that I would likely still be at Rochester. But I had an opportunity to apply for the Athens job when Tim Storch retired and went for it.


“As for coaching at Athens, we had great parents, great support and great players,” he continued. “The district A.D. in Troy has been great and we have a great support system at Athens and that made my transition into the A.D. position this (school) year easier and still allowed me to coach the boys in the fall. (Last fall) we had two varsity assistant coaches, a JV-A head coach and a JV-B head coach. We had a great staff and I only had to miss a couple of practices last fall.


“I (recently) let the girls team know that I was stepping down and the job has been posted,” added Heugh, one of Michigan’s winningest coaches over the last 25 years. “So here we are.”


And another chapter of Troy Athens looms on the horizon.


Todd Heugh as soccer coach at the high school level:

Troy High boys soccer assistant coach (1996-1999).

Rochester boys soccer coach (2000-2005)

Rochester girls soccer coach (2001-2011)

Troy Athens boys soccer coach (2011-2023)

Troy Athens girls soccer coach (2012-2023)

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