Brandt Bell knew the words he needed to say.
He spent the entire day running what he would articulate to the Park Hill girls soccer team through his head when the group met on Monday, May 20.
When it was time to tell the Trojans he wouldn’t be returning as the head coach, the words didn’t flow as easily as he had practiced.
“The hardest part was telling the girls I wouldn’t be coming back,” said Bell, who guided Park Hill to the Class 4 in 2018. “I was rehearsing what I would say all day and when the time came, I couldn’t find the words.
“I wish the girls and the program all the best. They will find someone that will take good care of the program.”
The bar will be set high regardless of the next head coach.
He is quick to deny the fact.
“The girls set the bar high, I just got to watch,” he said.
Bell has been part of the girls program for the past eight years, the last seven as the head coach. He led the Trojans to the district title this year and playoff berths the previous four. Last year, he guided the Trojans to a Class 4 title over conference foe Lee’s Summit West.
He has overseen a roster that churns out college players each year and in most cases multiple players headed to the next level.
Bell has been a part of both soccer programs at Park Hill, but was only an assistant coach for the boys program.
The Park Hill graduate, a part of the Class of 2004, said that it was in the best interest of his family to step aside for now.
“Seeing your family grow and my kids get involved in more stuff, it weighs on you when you can’t be at things,” Bell said. “It’s been on my mind for a while. I want to be more involved with my wife and kids. They have been supporting me for so long. I’m taking time to step way and be a little more of a dad and husband. I’m excited to see where it goes.”
He and his wife, Tara, both work in the Park Hill School District. They have two sons, Dash, 6, and Holden, 4.
Bell noted his wife, who worked at the LEAD Innovation Studio, is starting to work on her doctoral degree.
“She has put a lot of stuff on the back burner,” Bell said of his wife.
Bell is wrapping up his 11th year teaching history at his alma mater since coming back to Kansas City after attending Truman State.