Ellington soccer in the blood for new Knights coach

ELLINGTON — The Ellington girls soccer team will have a new coach in 2013. Coach Hostetler will be taking over for Coach Hostetler.

Melissa Morgan-Hostetler, who served for 16 seasons as the skipper for South Windsor’s girls soccer team, will take the reigns from her husband, John, who coached Ellington for one season in 2012.

Prior to last year, John led Ellington to three state titles and four finals appearances, the most recent of these in 1997. The coach stepped down for the first time in 2001. John is also the head basketball coach at Somers.

“When John had to give up his position at Ellington,” Melissa said, “I said ‘wow the opportunity is sitting in front of me again.’ I threw my hat in the ring. It went nicely, I had a great interview at Ellington. I am excited, they seem excited too. I went to Ellington, I am so glad to be back. A little piece of me has been missing over the last two soccer seasons. The free time was nice but I don’t think I could have gone through another season without it, it’s in my blood.”

Melissa stepped down from her job at South Windsor due to the demands of a full time teaching job, and of raising three kids.

“We were both coaching varsity soccer, “ Melissa, an all-state soccer star and state titlist at EHS under husband John, said, “we were coaching basketball together, and when we had our third son it got to be a lot. We had a conversation and said okay ‘you keep basketball I’ll keep soccer, so one of us is always at home.’”

The plan worked well for the family, but with a coaching duo like the Hostetlers, it wasn’t long before the bug to coach soccer crept up again.

“When the Ellington position opened last year I contemplated it. This past fall, I took a new position at the middle school and thought, ‘wow, my schedule will allow me to do this.’”

With so much coaching prowess under one roof, the Hostetlers enjoy bringing their strategies and anecdotes home with them. And as a result, each continues to grow and improve at the craft they love.

“We do talk about coaching a lot,” Melissa said. “Way back when, when we were coaching together, it’s kind of how we started dating and got married. We really enjoy it; it’s been a big part of our lives. Our kids are involved; we volunteer to coach their teams.”

Melissa is one of few coaches in the area with the asset of a three-time champion in the family, and she makes sure to use it to her advantage.

“I really trust his judgment,” she said. “I have respect for him as a coach. He’s leaving me some big shoes to fill. I’m a little nervous about that. I really enjoy that part of our relationship. We can talk Xs and Os, and it’s an interesting but really great situation that way.”

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