“Being home this fall kind of opened my eyes to how much I’ve missed the last 10 years while I’ve been a head coach,” said Neubeiser, 48, who still plans to teach physical education at Northwest. “That kind of opened my eyes a little bit, like, ‘Wow, I’m not going to be able to do this forever.’ Not many people understand how much of a commitment it is, but it’s a year-round job. I didn’t want to miss my kids growing up.”
Neubeiser took over Northwest’s program in 2011 — a year after the program finished 1-9. By 2013, Neubeiser was holding the Maryland 4A championship trophy. The Jaguars claimed the state title again the next year. Northwest returned to the state championship game last season, losing to Wise.
In nine seasons, Neubeiser recorded a 84-28 record and guided his team to the playoffs eight times.
But with that success came sacrifices, which Neubeiser wasn’t willing to give up any longer. For the first time, he has had the chance to help his daughters — Zoe, 14, and Cara, 10 — with their homework. He has also played one-on-one soccer games with Zoe in the backyard of their Dickerson home, putting his competitive edge aside to allow her to shoot on a larger goal than him.
For 13 years, Neubeiser’s father, Joseph, has asked him to visit the family’s cabin with him in Yellow Spring, W.Va. Last month, Neubeiser went for the first time. The cabin had no phone service, so it was a chance for him to escape his normal routine.
Without coaching, he plans to continue those activities.
Neubeiser’s coaching career began in 1995 because his late uncle, Fred Joyce, coached at Gaithersburg High and brought Neubeiser onto the staff. When he arrived at Northwest, Neubeiser’s goal was to build the program into a state contender. He accomplished that, and as it searches for a new coach, Northwest should continue to be one of Montgomery County’s top teams.
“Kids can say, ‘Hey, I played for Northwest,’ and be really proud of it,” Neubeiser said. “It wasn’t that way when we first got there.”