While having dinner with one of his mentors and long time good friend Mike Moore and his wife in 2008, Juergen Huettner was asked if he would be interested in becoming the women’s soccer coach at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.
Already established as one of the top high school coaches in the state at Althoff at the time, Huettner, although flattered by the offer from Moore, then the athletic director at St. Louis Community College, went home that night thinking he had declined the offer. But the next morning, Huettner found out differently.
“I had known Mike Moore since I came here (the St. Louis area). I worked for him and he has always been a very good friend., Well, while we were having dinner together with our wives and he asked me if I would want the coaching position at the school. I wasn’t interested.
“Well, the next morning I’m having breakfast with my wife and she asked we what it was like to be the new coach at St. Louis Community College. I’m like, ‘I didn’t take the job’. And her response was oh yes you did.’ I guess I had a little too much to drink that night.’’
On Tuesday, eight years later and now the head coach at Southwestern Illinois College, Huettner picked up the 100th victory of his college coaching career when the Blue Storm defeated St. Louis Community College 4-1.
“I thought it was kind of cool to get the 100th win against St. Louis Community College. I was going though some of the paper work I have to do and I figured up the wins. I had 62 wins in five years at St. Louis College and we had 28 the first two years here so looking at the schedule a few days ago, we figured it out that if we kept winning that No. 100 could come on Tuesday,’’ Huettner said.
“It was sophomore day on Tuesday as well so it was going to be a special day for my girls and I anyway. To get No. 100 on the same day and to run our winning streak to six games in a row too, we had a lot of reason to celebrate.’’
And celebrate is what Huettner, his coaches and team as well as several other members of the SWIC family did on Tuesday at Cutters in Belleville following the game.
“The women’s basketball team helps us out by doing the scoreboard and keeping the clock at all of our home games. SWIC Athletic Director Mike (Juenger) is always pushing the family atmosphere within the athletic teams and so after the game, the women’s soccer and basketball team along with the family members of our girls soccer players all went to Cutters to eat.’’ Huettner said. “They really treat us well there and we had pizza and wings and just had a great time.’’
Huettner, 55 spent two years at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park then three years as the head coach at STLCC-Meremec when the soccer program was consolidated into one program.
But when Chad Lignoul stepped down as the head women’s college at SWIC following the ‘13 season, Huettner got a phone call.
“I got a call from Mike(Juenger) telling me that then (SWIC) athletic director (Jay) Harrington wanted to talk to me about becoming the head women’s coach,’’ Huettner said. “It was a perfect fit. I knew the girls and from coaching at Althoff, I knew and had a good relationship with the other coaches in the area to help with recruITING
“Whether its been here or in St. Louis, we’ve always emphasized recruiting local players. Anyway, the job was perfect for me because I work at the Family Sportsplex down the road from SWIC. Jay (Harrington) then stepped down after that and I was his last hire at SWIC.’’
Whether at St. Louis Community College or at SWIC, Huettner has had success. Huettner was also named Region XVI Coach of the Year in 2009,2012 and 2013 and Region XXIV Coach of the Year in 2014.
SWIC begins the Region 24 Tournament this weekend and has rebounded nicely after a slow start to the season which included losses to four of the top 12 ranked women’s junior college programs in the nation.
Huettner is also a highly successful high school coach at Althoff. Heading into the ‘17 season next Spring, Huettner has 199 career wins as the girls coach. He also had 97 wins during his coaching tenure with the Crusaders boys team.
And at 55, Huetter still has many good years ahead of him.
“I have a great family and support system at home. My wife has been coaches wife for a long time and while she’s not one to go sit on a bench and watch me coach, she has always been there for me. I wouldn’t have had the success I have had without her love and support over the years,’’ Huettner said. “I think there is a time when when every coach knows its time to stop. When you aren’t enjoying what you are doing any longer.
“I still love being around the kids and coaching. As long as I do, I will coach.’’