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The end of an era: Head soccer coach Bobby Kramig retires

D1817 Soccer vs Texas
D1817 Soccer vs Texas

Bobby Kramig, who defined Miami soccer for three decades, is stepping down as head coach.

"Coaching soccer at Miami has been one of the great joys of my life," Kramig said to Miami Athletics. "While I can't imagine life without my team, it's time for me to spend more time with my family."

Kramig announced his retirement due to personal reasons and preferred not to comment to The Miami Student at this time. Hugh Seyfarth, former assistant coach of the women's program, will take over as interim head coach.

"I want to thank Bobby for his deep commitment to Miami Soccer," director of athletics David Sayler said to Miami Athletics. "His passion for Miami is unmatched and his tenacity was paramount in moving to our current era of women's soccer. We have never known a women's soccer match without Bobby on the sidelines driving the team to success."

Kramig's success began when he joined Miami in 1983 as the head coach of the men's program, which he coached to 138 wins, 143 losses and 21 ties (.492 winning percentage). He won three conference titles and twice was named MAC's coach of the year.

Kramig then began coaching the women's soccer program during the men's program's final two years.

In 20 years as women's head coach, Kramig amassed a 218-153-32 record (.581). His teams won the MAC tournament in 2001, 2001, 2002 and 2012 -- more than any school in the conference -- and competed in the NCAA tournament in those four years. Kramig's teams won three NCAA Tournament matches, also a MAC record.

Though Kramig's won-lost numbers are impressive, his legacy with the soccer programs can't be seen on a score sheet or record book, but rather on a bulletin board outside his office.

The board is covered with Christmas cards and birth announcements, as Seyfarth said, because former players still want to share great news with their coach.

"His body of work is that he had 300 or whatever wins, and he couldn't even tell you any of that stuff, but he can tell you when somebody's kid was born and he can tell you when somebody passed the bar exam or someone was very successful in a business venture," Seyfarth said. "Those are the things that really made him happy and really pleased him."

Seyfarth has coached with Kramig since 1998 -- long enough they can finish each other's sentences. Fortunate for the soccer players who will feel the absence of their long-time coach, Seyfarth's straightforward and blunt coaching style closely complements Kramig's.

"There were times where I felt like he was the only one who truly understood what I was going through and was there for me through everything," senior co-captain midfielder Katie Alexander said. "I think that's the biggest legacy I'll have from him."

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Senior midfielder co-captain Amy Malone choked back tears when she spoke about Kramig's comments and "the little things he would say all the time" during practices and games.

Moving forward, the program's goal is to maintain a united team that produces athletes who are successful on and off the field, as Kramig always wanted.

"Our mission doesn't change. Our vision doesn't change. Our goals don't change - none of that changes," Seyfarth said.

Kelsie Maloney will be the RedHawks' new assistant coach. She was interim head coach at Fairmont State University for the 2016 season.