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Derflinger steps down as Freedom boys soccer coach, replaced by Haueter

Posted Aug 13, 2012 by Bill Ward

Updated Aug 13, 2012 at 02:16 PM

Dennis Derflinger, the only coach Freedom High boys soccer has known in its 10-year history, has stepped down and will be replaced by assistant Charles Haueter, Patriots athletic director Eli Thomas announced Monday.

Derflinger said leaving the program was a difficult decision but he said he is planning to enter Hillsborough County schools’ administration and certain course work and training required by the district would prevent him from spending the necessary time coaching this winter.

Derflinger, however, said he will remain Freedom’s girls flag football coach until he becomes an administrator.

“I’ve been with the school system 16 years now and I’ve gotten to the point where it’s time to start thinking about my income and retirement,” Derflinger said. “I’m going to miss it (coaching soccer) and working with the kids but I feel like this is something I need to do for my future.”

After a stint as Plant’s boys soccer coach, Derflinger accepted job at Freedom when the school opened in 2002. He quickly built the Patriots into one of the county’s top boys programs and, in 2009, led the Patriots to the Class 5A state finals. There, the Patriots fell 2-1 to Palm Harbor University in a hard-fought final. Later that spring, Derflinger was named the Tampa Tribune’s Boys Soccer Coach of the Year (photo).

Haueter has been an assistant under Derflinger the past two seasons and is a teacher at the school. Last season, the Patriots went 12-6-1 and reached the Class 4A playoffs as runners-up in District 8.

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