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Elder High School athletic director Dave Dabbelt has announced that Tony Gray will succeed Dave Ruehl as the new head varsity soccer coach at the school beginning this season.  Gray will become the seventh head coach in the history of Elder soccer.

“Tony brings a lot of enthusiasm and coaching skills that are going to help our program grow,” reports Dabbelt.

Gray has been the head junior varsity and assistant varsity coach at Elder since 2012.  He served in the same capacity under Ruehl at St. Ursula Academy in 2010-2011, and also coached at McAuley in 2008-2009.  He brings a total of eight years of high school and club coaching experience to Elder, and attributes much of his success to Ruehl, “Dave’s been my mentor for the past few years.  I’ve learned so much from him as a person and a coach, and I’m thankful for his confidence and support as we continue to build upon the program.  I consider it a privilege to have this opportunity to lead this part of an outstanding community here at Elder.”

Ruehl said, “We've assembled a team of coaches fully prepared to take the Elder soccer program to the next level. I have the utmost confidence in this group and the strength of the program, which makes this an ideal time to turn things over to a new generation.”

On his decision to resign, Ruehl states, “While I still have great passion for the sport, I knew there would come a point in time where the high school game and the needs of its players would outpace my enthusiasm to serve them.  I never quite knew when the time would come, but I always trusted that I would know when to step aside for the good of the program.” Ruehl, who stepped down as head coach late last week, compiled a 26-10-1 record over the last two seasons, finishing second in the GCL in 2012 and tied for first in 2013. He previously coached at Elder from 1996-2005, leading the Panthers to a 79-68-31 record and one GCL title during that span.

Click here to read a recent article about the Elder Soccer Team.