Pete Hald has been the head girls soccer coach at FPC for 29 seasons. And he's not slowing down yet.
Pete Hald is the head coach of Flagler Palm Coast’s girls soccer team and is one of the most heralded coaches in the Flagler-Volusia area. Hald, who is currently in his 29th season leading the Bulldogs, was recently inducted into the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Hald, who eclipsed the 450-win mark las season, recently spoke with the Palm Coast Observer about his recent success and the growth of his team.
Q: With your move from District 2 into District 1, your schedule has gotten much tougher than in previous seasons. How do you think it’s affected your team?
Just because you’re a district runner-up doesn’t mean you’re into the tournament now. It’s the district champs and the top four wild cards in your region. I don’t know if we can win the district — it’s going to be tough with Bartram Trails. They beat us 1-0 earlier in the season, and we were on our heals for most of the game. But who knows? The hard teams are hopefully preparing us to play those hard games when they really count. Plus the ranking. Strength of schedule is huge right now, and it really helps with your ranking.
Q: Despite the difficult schedule, do you think your team is playing better now than in previous seasons?
No, we’re a little down. We’re playing well on defense and keeper-wise, we don’t give up many goals. But we’re not scoring. We’re not finishing well enough. We get lots of chances, but we don’t put the ball in the back of the net. We’re either winning 1-0 or losing 1-0, it seems like.
Q: You lost team captain Ashley Puentes mid-season after she enrolled early at Valdosta State. How has that affected your team?
She’s not a scorer so much, but she kind of helped run the middle of the field. Now I’m trying to figure out who is going to take her spot without having to take away from someplace else. It’s a very difficult challenge right now. It’s going to be tough. We’ve been to 17-straight district championships, and we’re going to have a tough time getting into this one.
Q: You were recently inducted into the FACA Hall of Fame. What does that mean to you?
You have to be a member of the FACA for 20 years to even be considered for a nomination. Obviously, I was honored and proud of it. I don’t win state championships, and some people believe that Hall-of-Famers win all the time. But that’s not the case at all. There’s so much involved in it. I’m an active member of the FACA. I’m the women’s state chair for Florida, too, which I’ve been a part of for a long time. Of course, winning helps. The part that I’m proud of most, though, is that I started this program. A lot of people coach and then move to someplace else. Me, I’ve been here through thick and thin. And I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon.