Luke Collins’ journey to Bryan started nearly 20 years ago and more than 3,700 miles away.
When Collins was just 6 years old, his family moved from Birmingham, England to Bryan in the year 2000.
From there, he played through the youth leagues and on through high school, where he graduated in 2012. After a career as a player at Trine University, he came back to Bryan and coached U13 boys and girls soccer in Bryan. Now, he’ll be tasked with leading the boys varsity program at the high school.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted,” Collins said. “My dad was the coach for eight years, so I’ve been around the program. When my dad got the job, I was able to get an inside look at the travel program. Coaching is so fulfilling and such a good thing to teach kids, not just the sport itself, but watching them grow as people.”
Collins currently works at Spangler Candy Co. in Bryan, but will soon make time for his new gig. With his coaching experience in the younger ages, he feels he’s got a good grasp on the development of Bryan soccer as a whole.
“Early on is building good discipline within the program and the players,” Collins said. “I don’t want to be one of those high school teams that just go out there to play and get results, I want these boys to come together and grow. Get better as being athletes, being competitive people and bringing them to a good self discipline and good role models in the soccer community in Bryan.”
He’ll base some of his coaching style from what he learned from his dad, a style that emphasizes passing and ball movement.
Instead of falling in with a typical program, Collins wants to use some of what his dad implemented as coach, too.
“We kind of started playing a different style of play than just kicking the ball around, we were actually trying to possess and move and manipulate the game a little bit differently more than a lot of high school programs did around those times,” Collins said of his dad’s coaching style. “It was nice to play in a program that was working on passing and moving the ball and working the ball around the right way.”
Collins is 19 years removed from his move from England to Bryan, where he rose through the youth ranks and then the coaching ranks to eventually become the boys soccer coach at Bryan.
“Definitely consider my home in England to be my hometown, but my home in Bryan to be just as much of one as well,” Collins said. “Pretty much Bryan through and through here.”