A Legacy on the pitch: Brehmer has given a lot to soccer in Austin

Published 10:37 pm Monday, July 17, 2017

It’s been said many times that the best gift a parent can give their children is their time. Brent Brehmer of Austin took that advice to heart over the last 15 years, and it’s helped him have a big impact on the lives of his four sons and countless other sons who have played Austin Youth Soccer in the past decade and a half.

Even though he played football, basketball and baseball when he was younger, Brent threw himself completely into soccer when his sons — Jacob, Nick, Noah and Josh, who will be a senior at AHS this fall — all began playing soccer. Brent did everything from cleaning up debris on soccer fields, to washing uniforms, to coaching.

He coached more than 50 teams, watched over 2,000 games, and did it all with a smile and a positive attitude.

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“You have no idea what your kids are going to do. They got into soccer instead and you get involved with what they like. If you want to stay involved with your kids, you have to adapt and grow with your kids,” Brent said. “Looking back, I just encourage people to get involved no matter what it is. Go play chess with them if that’s what they’re into.”

Although he didn’t know a lot about soccer early on, Brent did everything he could to learn about the sport. He read books, he watched DVDs and he took classes on the soccer. He also had a lot of patience.

Brent began coaching with the Austin Youth Soccer team when Jacob played on a U10 team, and that squad didn’t win a game.

“We didn’t win a game, but I knew we had athletic kids and I told them if they keep working, then by the time they’re in high school, they’ll have a good team,” Brent said.

Brent’s words proved prophetic for that group as they eventually took third place in C2 as a U13 team and they won the C2 state title as a U17 team in 2009. That team also earned the only trip to the Minnesota Class A state tournament in school history for the Packers in the fall of 2009.

Besides coaching, Brent has served on the Austin Youth soccer board and he’s also gotten involved in officiating in the last six years. When Brent first began coaching, Austin only had six summer teams and sometimes girls would have to play with boys to fill up a roster. Since then, soccer has surged in town and there are some age groups that field two teams in the summer.

Corey Anderson, who is the president of the Austin Youth Soccer Board, said that Brent was key to the growth of the sport.

“He was there from the very beginning. He helped with the conception of the program and he was part of the very first teams when Austin Youth Soccer was formed. He was instrumental in the growth of the program,” Anderson said. “He’s one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. He’s down to earth, extremely hard working and he’s passionate about the game. He’s a role model to all of these kids. He works hard.”

Brent coached his last soccer game recently as the Austin U18 team ended up one win short of the state tournament. He does plans to keep on officiating in the future, but for now he’ll sit back and be a fan as Josh plays out his senior year.

For Josh, his dad’s impact as a coach and a parent has been immeasurable on his life and that of his teammates’ lives.

“I know he’s been a role model to players on my brothers’ teams and my team and that’s with life too, not just soccer,” Josh said. “We’re always greatful for the tme that he’s put in to do it. He’s helped a lot of people.”