McKee back as Fruita soccer coach

Dan McKee is returning to take care of unfinished business.

Fruita Monument High School Athletic Director Denny Squibb announced Monday that McKee has been rehired as the boys soccer coach.

“I was very aggressive in pursuing the job,” McKee said. “I felt I let the guys down by leaving, so I have a lot of drive to get the program back on its feet.”

McKee was Fruita Monument’s soccer coach in 2006 and 2007, stepping down for personal and health reasons midway through the 2008 season.

“We listened to the reasons why he left when he did and they were legit reasons,” Squibb said. “He’s excited to come back, and we’re excited for him.”

McKee was replaced by Jeff Ellis, who resigned midway through the 2009 season. Ellis was replaced by Pat Noland, Fruita’s former athletic director, who finished last season as interim coach.

Squibb said he hopes bringing McKee back will establish stability to the program.

“Soccer coaches tend to move around,” Squibb said. “I think he’s looking long-term and he’ll bring stability.”

McKee did well in his two full seasons, going 15-13-2, including a 9-5-1 record in 2007.

He’s inheriting a group that finished 2-11-1 last season and 2-10-3 in 2008.

“He loves the game and loves coaching,” Squibb said. “He’s enthusiastic for life and the game and will be beneficial for the kids.”

McKee will be reunited with Schuyler Young and Jack Allard, both of whom played for McKee as underclassmen.

“We are going to have about 40 players coming back,” McKee said. “We have a lot of juniors and seniors who know what to expect of me so I can pick up where I left off.”

The Wildcats begin the season Sept. 4 at Canyon View Park against Heritage.

“He has a calm demeanor that I really like,” Squibb said of McKee. “I really thought he is a good person for the job.”

Squibb is also looking for a new girls soccer coach.

He confirmed Monday that second-year coach Tracy Burke will not return next season. Fruita is currently taking applications for that position.

“I have no idea,” Burke said of why her contract was not renewed. “I was heartbroken.”

The Wildcats finished 1-13-1 and had several injuries.

“We make decisions based on the betterment of the kids,” Squibb said.

Allen Gemaehlich contributed to this report.


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