Lynnwood boys soccer coach keeps his word

  • Katie Murdoch<br>Enterprise writer
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 1:02pm

Four years ago Lynnwood High School boys soccer coach Tim Colvin vowed to ensure his young athletes would have a future inside the classroom and on the field after graduating from high school.

“I made a promise to the freshmen who are now graduating if you can develop as a player and keep your nose clean, I can provide scholarship money,” Colvin said.

Five Lynnwood seniors will continue to play soccer with the help of scholarships from Everett Community College this fall.

“If they didn’t have that, they probably wouldn’t be going to school,” Colvin said.

Each of the students received different degrees of the scholarship funding. Those who received partial funding will be scrutinized for their level of commitment to the sport to see if the level increases.

“I had the authority to disperse money accordingly,” Colvin said. “I can hand someone a full year’s worth or break it up by quarter amongst athletes.”

The scholarship money was also distributed based on financial need, athletic ability and to attract quality players who were considering playing for other schools.

“I’ve been very picky,” Colvin said. “I made a concerted effort to seek out talented players.”

The student athletes will be at a new school, but will play soccer for the same coach. Colvin believes there are benefits of continuing to coach the same group of students. After four years of coaching at the high school level, individuals have breakthroughs in their personal development and coaches can see the result of that for a couple more years, Colvin said.

This isn’t the first time Colvin has stepped in to help his athletes with their future. In the past, Colvin “hand-walked” one of his players onto the soccer program at Seattle Pacific University, his alma mater. Colvin told the student if he is ever in the same situation as Colvin, he would do the same and help them, like Colvin did.

“There are very few ways we can have a large impact on people,” Colvin said. “It’s gratifying to know you’re sending out productive people.”

For the last three seasons, Colvin has served as assistant coach of the men’s soccer team at Everett Community College. Last season he was the assistant coach for the women’s soccer team as well.

“The college game is an earned privilege,” Colvin said. “The beauty of it is it takes away the entitlement and you have to earn it.”

He began coaching boys soccer at Lynnwood five years ago. The program at Lynnwood suffered many years and had a poor standing in terms of academics and students’ behavior, Colvin said.

“The program as a whole was a pariah to the district,” Colvin said.

During his tenure as coach, Colvin has focused on changing the community’s perception of Lynnwood compared to the other schools in the same district through “recultivating a sense of pride in the system.” He believes soccer is the vehicle to teach that lesson.

Coaching from a business approach where he emphasized showing up and working hard, Colvin taught his athletes general life skills in addition to becoming accountable athletes.

The bulk of the boys soccer team at Lynnwood are Hispanic, Bosnian and Eastern European. These students come from families where there is one car or they have to accompany a relative to doctors’ appointments to translate, both of which prevented them from making it to practice. This wasn’t a weakness on the team’s part, but more of a challenge, Colvin said.

Today, Colvin believes Lynnwood’s reputation has improved and the school has good visibility in the community. The image of Everett Community College is still improving.

“This season is going to be pivotal in changing the perception the program has on the community,” Colvin said.

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