One of the greatest stretches by any coach in any sport in South Jersey history ended Saturday morning when Lenape girls' soccer coach Kevin Meder announced he was stepping down after 13 seasons.
"Its not a decision I came to lightly, I've been thinking a lot about it," said Meder, known most for an unprecedented stretch of eight consecutive South Jersey Coaches Tournament and South Jersey Group 4 titles between 2007 and 2014 and five consecutive state championships between '07-'11.
"I decided it was time for me to spend a little bit more time with my family and watch my kids play soccer, specifically, and other sports," said Meder, 43, who has a son in middle school and daughter in elementary school. "I felt like I was missing too much of that."
Meder's career record stands at 243-45-18 after a 2017 season in which the Indians finished 8-11 and lost in the first round of the South Jersey Group 4 tournament.
This season stood as an aberration on Meder's record — the first losing season of his career — although his team was young and is expected to be back among the area's elite next season.
"I feel like the program is in a good position for whoever takes over," Meder said. "We'll have a lot of experience coming back, so I feel like this was the right time for me to step down."
Meder said he was thankful for the opportunity to coach at Lenape, where he guided several tremendously talented classes.
"I was honored to be hired 13 years ago. I've been so fortunate to be surrounded by a great coaching staff. I knew how lucky I was. As my coaching career evolved, I was blessed with all the talent that came through Lenape.
"I just consider myself very, very lucky. And that's what made this decision even harder. It's such a special program with such special players."