No boys soccer coach in Colorado has been able to touch the legacy that head coach Jim Davidson has left on the pitch over the last 25 seasons at Broomfield High School.
After collecting eight state championships, 11 state title game appearances, and an incredible record of 385-59-29, Davidson has decided to hang up his whistle during the fall. He’s been doubling up coaching the boys in the fall and the girls in the spring for 23 years and believed that it was “time to take a break.”
He will still stay on as the girls coach for the foreseeable future.
“I’ve had some mixed emotions and a lot of emotions,” Davidson said. “I’ve been feeling some lightness. I’ve been feeling some trepidation. I’ve been feeling some nostalgia, some sadness, all of it. And I think that I can’t help but run the gamut of emotions after having experienced what I have over the last 25 years and having been so blessed to experience what I’ve been through.”
His career, in a way, has been poetic. It’s made an immeasurable impact on former players like Matt Lay, who played from 1998 to 2001, currently teaches in the same English department at BHS as Davidson and serves as his assistant coach.
“One of his key phrases is ‘band of brothers,’” Lay said. “I think that legacy goes back all the way to when I played because that ‘band of brothers’ reference comes from one of the Shakespeare plays. I remember even as a player, he read us a speech from a Shakespeare play. He put our names into it, saying that we’re all going to be there in this moment together, and no one else would know what that’s like, so at least we’ll have that shared experience and that shared bond.”
The line, from St. Crispin’s Day speech in Henry V, reads:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
That passage, so eloquently written by one of English literature’s finest minds, rang true for Ryan Aweida, who grew up in the program. His two older siblings played for Davidson and he served as a ball boy before joining the ranks of the Eagles himself from 2004 to 2007.
Aweida played collegiately at the University of Denver after his stint with the Eagles, but no stage shone brighter than that of Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium. That time in his life — which included a state championship and runs to the state title game, semifinals and quarterfinals — is something he’ll never forget.
“As a ball boy, it always looked like this special stage that was created from high school soccer, which traditionally isn’t always one of the most special,” Aweida said. “Club soccer generally can overshadow high school soccer, but it really turned those lights on Tuesday and Thursday nights into a special stage that felt electric, which was a word Jim always used.
“I think I just grew up idolizing the players and the program and the team and the whole thing. And then playing in it, it really was everything I thought it’d be and more. It was just this brotherhood that I have and I’ll always have the rest of my life that Jim was able to create, and it felt like you were part of something very special.”
Lay lauded Davidson’s commitment to the program and soccer in general as he would often text the other coaches updates from different games or coaching strategies he wanted to employ, even on their nights off from practice.
His success has become almost legendary within boys soccer in Colorado. No other school — let alone coach — has won as many state titles as Davidson has throughout his tenure.
The news of his retirement came as a gut punch to Aweida, who one day hoped his sons would experience the same camaraderie that he did as a young player. In the days since Davidson announced his decision, former players have flooded his phone, further proving just how deeply he impacted dozens, if not hundreds, of young soccer minds.
That’s what he will cherish most from his time at Broomfield. The Eagles won’t be the same without him.
“You would think it would probably be the state championships and the trophies but it’s not,” Davidson said. “That was a goal and that was really important along the way, but it’s the relationships. The messages and phone calls that I’ve received over the last few days since I announced have been just amazing. I realized the friendships that I’ve created that are lifelong are what it’s all about.”