When the Oakville boys soccer camp opened late last month, the first thing Dave Robben did was introduce the school’s new coaching staff, headed by new varsity coach Jordan Klipsch.
“He was a key player on our last state team in 2011,” Robben explained. “I really like the idea of someone from the program taking over, and I’m sure he’ll do a great job.”
Klipsch has some big shoes to fill. After teaching for better than 50 years, Robben stepped down at the end of the school year. He started coaching the girls at Oakville in 1978 and took over the boys’ program in 1982. He finished as Missouri’s winningest coach in combined boys’ and girls’ soccer with a record of 1,125-521-143.
Robben finished seventh all-time with a boys’ record of 531-297-84, trailing only CBC’s Terry Michler, Trinity’s Vince Drake, De Smet’s Greg Vitello, the late Ebbie Dunn of SLUH, Chaminade’s Mike Gauvain and the late Bob Horgan of CBC. On the girls’ side, his 594-334-59 mark is second to St. Joseph’s Maureen McVey.
Robben helped lead the Tigers to a boys’ state title in 2000 and to final four appearances in 1989 (third), 2001 (second) and 2011 (second). In the spring, Oakville won a championship in 1991 and also reached the semifinals in 1985 (third), 1990 (second), 1992 (third) and 2005 (fourth). Before state play in girls’ soccer, the Tigers won the St. Louis Metro Cup in 1983 and finished as runners-up in 1984.
“I prefer ‘moving on’ because ‘retiring’ has more of a finality to it,” said Robben, a longtime English language arts teacher. “I’m definitely done with teaching, but I’m not so sure about coaching. This game has played such a big part in my life and I’m sure I’ll find a way to stay close to it.”
A goalkeeper, Robben starred at St. Mary’s — he was inducted…