Family first: Jacques steps down as Mount's boys' soccer coach

Family first: Jacques steps down as Mount's boys' soccer coach

Paul Jacques, right, shown holding the Division II championship plaque next to senior captain Matt White after the Mounties defeated Moses Brown in the D-II title match in 2015, publicly announced on Thursday that he will be stepping down as the school's boys' soccer coach after seven seasons at the helm. (Breeze photo by Eric Benevides)
After seven years, veteran mentor sheds 'three-sport coach' label

WOONSOCKET – Being a three-sport high school coach is tough. And being a father to a soon-to-be, one-year-old daughter isn’t an easy job either.

Combine both – as Paul Jacques did this past school year as the head coach of the Mount Saint Charles Academy’s boys’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ indoor track and field, and baseball teams – and it can be very arduous and challenging.
In the long run, something usually has to give, and on Thursday morning, something did give.

Jacques reported on his “MSC Boys Soccer” Twitter page that after seven years, he is officially stepping down as Mount’s soccer coach, writing that, “I wanted to take this time to say thank you. To all current and former players that have played these past seven seasons. What a great ride with many memorable moments.”

It was a difficult decision he privately made two weeks ago, but with his baseball team battling for (and winning) the Division II championship last week, and the Providence Journal’s All-State banquet taking place on Wednesday night, he chose Thursday as the perfect time to publicly break the news.

“Coaching year-round finally got to us,” Jacques said a half-hour after his announcement on Twitter. “It was an extremely difficult decision to make. Seven years with the program, winning a state title, a couple of semifinal round appearances – I felt bad for the boys, especially the upcoming seniors who have been with me for three years. They were all surprised as well.

“Really, no one saw it coming,” continued Jacques. “(Athletic director) Ray Leveille and (senior athletic director) Richard Lawrence had a feeling it might be soon, with the birth of my daughter, but it was time. Coaching three seasons took a lot out of my family.”

Being a three-sport head coach has been nothing new to Jacques, who had pulled triple duty for the past seven years. He had been the school’s outdoor track and field coach before taking over the baseball program in 2017 after longtime mentor Tom Seaver retired.

Actually, Jacques had been a four-season coach; he was an American Legion head coach in Watertown and Miflord, Mass., but after the birth of his daughter, Kennedy, last June 30, Jacques stepped off the gas a bit from the American Legion scene last summer to tend to his young family.

At the end of August, Jacques was back with the soccer team, but as the year rolled along, he started to realize that the demand of being a new father and a three-sport coach for a school that’s a half hour away from his house -- Jacques lives on the Bellingham/Medway area – was quite a lot to bear.

“This season, (the boys’ soccer team) has games during the week at Chariho and Narragansett,” added Jacques. “If I was coaching, I would be getting home around 11 on those nights.”

Jacques made his decision to step down two weeks ago, during the baseball team’s D-II semifinal-round series against Tolman, as well as the plan to tell the members of this fall’s soccer team of his decision the day after the Mounties topped the Tigers in the third game of their best-of-three series.

“I was trying to hold off as long as possible,” he said, “But finals were coming up, so the day I told them was their last full day of school. I had to tell them sooner rather than later, because getting in touch with them over the summer might have been difficult.”

In Jacques’ seven years at the helm, the soccer team posted a 59-42-18 record that included a 6-5 mark in the postseason. Three of those wins came during Mount’s magical run to the Division II championship in 2015, which was capped by MSC’s 1-0 overtime win over previously-unbeaten and nationally-ranked Moses Brown in the title match at Rhode Island College.

As for his future plans, Jacques said that he plans to return as Mount’s indoor track and field coach, and these next two months, he will umpire an occasional Legion game in his area – Jacques has spent nearly two decades as a member of the Central Massachusetts Baseball Umpire Association.

“But I’ll be mostly free this summer,” he added.