Mumby takes reins at Westborough
Everything seems to be falling into place perfectly for Paul Mumby.
Last fall, Mumby coached the West Boylston girls soccer team to the Division 3 state championship after building the program into a CMass power over the past several years.
After months of house hunting he recently purchased one and moved his wife and two young daughters to Westborough. Then he landed a job as a physical education teacher at the Mill Pond School in town. Wanting to coach closer to home to spend more time with his family, he applied for the girls varsity soccer position that recently opened at Westborough High and officially landed it this week.
"The timing was right for Paul," said Westborough athletic director Brian Callaghan. "He's very excited, and so are we"
Ironically, this is the second time Callaghan has hired Mumby to coach girls soccer. Nine years ago, when Callaghan was the West Boylston AD, he tabbed Mumby to take over the program. In Mumby's tenure, West Boylston made the tournament every year and captured four Mid-Wach D championships.
Mumby is looking to make a similar impact in Westborough. Though the Ranger girls missed the playoffs last fall, finishing 6-7-5, he inherits a respectable program built over seven years by his predecessor, John Chatalian, who could no longer make the time commitment to coach.
"We're certainly fortunate," said Callaghan. "Our program was built essentially by John Chatalian. It's an above-average, competitive but certainly not top of the heap at the Division 1 level like Nashoba, St. Peter-Marian, Wachusett and other top teams."
The Rangers have never won a CMass or league title, according to Callaghan.
"I did not just want a job, I want to win," said Mumby. "In West Boylston, the school and the town got behind the program. It was the dominant sport in school. That's what I want to do at Westborough. I want it to be known for its soccer."
Mumby brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion for the sport from his native England as both a successful player and coach. He started playing at 7 and continued through college at the University of Wolverhampton and afterward at the semi-pro level, where he was the top goal-scorer for Bridgnorth Town of the Shropshire County Premier League. In addition, he has coached extensively at the youth and high school levels.
"I definitely think that gives me an advantage," said Mumby. "I played it all my life and coached for many years. At the same time, you're only as good as what you've got for talent. If you've got some talent to work with, you can put the knowledge and expertise into that."
To develop more homegrown talent, Mumby hopes to get involved with the Westborough's youth soccer program. Either this summer or next, he would like to host clinics in town with Best English Soccer Training, a program he owns and directs.
"I want to encourage kids to play soccer," said Mumby. "And I want what's best for the town."
Callaghan believes Mumby will bring out the best in the girls soccer team this fall.
"The relationships he forms with the kids, that's his most significant asset," said Callaghan. "He can relate to them and he can empower them. He is the epitome of a teacher-coach. He gets them to rise to the standards he sets for them. Kids today need somebody like Paul. He can make those strong relationships. I saw that about 10 years ago when I hired him."
"Being a teacher and the success I've had has put me in good sted to coach," said Mumby. "I also think the girls respond well to me maybe because I'm from England. Being from England, I'm a bit more easygoing. I try to understand where they're coming from. And I want to win as much as they do."
In time, that could fall right into place, just like the rest of Mumby's career has recently.