In the end, the wins and losses just didn’t add up for Jonas Worth.
Worth was recently dismissed as the head coach of the Quest Kermodes men’s soccer team and he said he understands the school’s decision to move forward after two seasons without a win.
“As is often the case with this business, you live and die with the wins and losses category,” he said. “I was looking at a typical five-year plan that most university programs have but they saw it a different way. We didn’t get a win this season so that’s typically how it goes at this level — which I understand.”
Worth was hired to lead the men’s program on Feb. 14, 2011 after working as an assistant coach with the women’s team for three seasons. He established a school-best record of three wins, four losses and five ties in 2011 but Quest failed to make the playoffs that year and the team was unable to win a game in 2012 or 2013.
He said the parting of ways is disappointing.
“I was certainly upset because it’s a wonderful community up there and I had grown very fond of the program and the school itself,” he said. “I think my vision was in line with the overall vision of the institution as a whole. It’s hard because I see the team as being capable of getting some wins next year and turning into a success if they don’t lose too many players.”
Quest athletic director Sean Shook said the program needed to go in another direction.
“I think the team needed a bit of a culture change,” he said, noting that the new coach will likely be named in early January.
Worth said his players were surprised with the news.
“Everyone was in a state of shock,” he said when he announced to the team of his dismissal. “It’s a bit of a bummer because I’d grown very close with the team and the student body. That’s what happens in small school — you grow tight with everybody. But I think the majority of the players understand that in the context of wins and losses it’s usually the coach that pays the price.”
Third-year players Laith Matlak and Derek McKinnon said they appreciated Worth coaching the team.
“Jonas brought us here three years ago and brought us together as friends and family,” Matlak said. “He was good to us and we’re sad to see him go.”
“I’ve never had a coach that cares as much as he did,” added McKinnon. “He’s definitely a player’s coach and was always putting us first.”
But the players admitted that change was necessary after two years without a victory.
“We’ve been here four years now and we’re excited for a new change and a new beginning,” Matlak said.
“After this season, it was to be expected,” McKinnon said. “We need a different vibe and a different voice.”
Matlak and McKinnon said it’s frustrating that the team has failed to win in two seasons but the blame shouldn’t be fully placed on Worth’s shoulders.
Worth said that Quest does have a few barriers to attract athletic talent such as the cost to attend the school, the school’s challenging block program and the cap on international players in the Pacwest. But he said he’s unwilling to make excuses.
“I think it was just a matter of time before we became more competitive,” he said. “In the last two years we’ve managed to recruit premier league players and some of the top players in the province but we’ve been a little on the young side. I’m not willing to use any of those issues as excuses.”
In the meantime, Worth has focused his efforts on the new Pelada Soccer Academy he has started in Squamish. He’s working with several current and former Kermodes on the project. The academy will work with kids of all ages and incorporate teachings from Brazilian, European and North American soccer.