FLINT – When Kevin Fiebernitz started coaching soccer in the early 1980s, he had no intention of doing it in the high school ranks.
But when longtime community school director Dick Daly approached him about a coaching vacancy at Powers Catholic, Fiebernitz figured he’d look into the job.
Now, 33 years and 800 victories later, he’s still on the sidelines coaching the boys and girls teams at Linden.
“I didn’t even plan on coaching high school soccer,” said Fiebernitz, who recorded No. 800 in Monday’s 1-0 victory over Keysley. “I got a call from Powers and that’s where it started in ’89.
“I was planning on just doing travel soccer and this opportunity arose and here we are. I ended up doing that and haven’t looked back since.”
Fiebertnitz has coached boys and girls soccer during his illustrious career and is the winningest soccer coach in Flint-area history. He ranks No. 5 in MHSAA history among boys coaches and is sixth among girls coaches.
He coached at Powers from 1989-2002 before moving on to coach the girls at his alma mater, Flint Southwestern Academy. In 1999, he moved on to Linden, where he now lives, and has been there ever since.
What does he remember most about all the lives he’s touched in 33 years?
“I think they touched my life more than I touched theirs,” he said before getting a little choked up. “It’s been a long time.”
Fiebernitz said there have been too many highlights to single one out – “we’d be here too long” – but one that has to be near the top came in 1996, when his Powers boys team beat Marshall 1-0 in overtime to win the Class B state championship.
As for the game against Kearsley, Daniel Duprey scored the game’s only goal 4:10 into the second half on a shot from about 15 yards in front of the net.
So, with No. 800 in the books, what’s next for Fiebernitz?
“There was a lot of pressure wanting to win, get that 800th win for him,” said junior Jackson Shaw. “Gotta get to 1,000 now.”
Fiebernitz isn’t sure about that. He mentioned the possibility of getting to 900 victories but isn’t sure he’ll be around that long.
“My career is coming to an end here,” he said. “Getting older and slower. It might be time for some new blood in a year or two.”