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North Hills Soccer Club

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Jun, 2021

Passing of longtime coach, former NHSC president Rick Kabbert

We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Rick Kabbert, a coach for our club since 2010 who held various titles including president, director of coaching and director of player development through the years.

Rick was the current coach of our club’s U19 girls team, coach of the North Hills High School girls soccer team and coach at FC Pittsburgh. He passed away Tuesday evening. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced. 

Rick had an unwavering commitment to spreading his love of the game. His face would light up when he stepped on the pitch or when he was just talking soccer.

He began his NHSC career as commissioner and coach for U8 (Academy) Boys and later coached U10 and Travel boys teams. Most recently, he coached the U19 Travel Girls team. He served on the NHSC Board of Directors as first the commissioner for U8 (Academy) Boys followed by president, director of coaching and director of player development.

He also previously coached the North Hills Middle School boys team.

“Rick was so giving of his time and tried to help as many players and fellow coaches as he could,” said NHSC President Mike Sapsara. “The North Hills Soccer Club and community as a whole are fortunate to have shared in so much of Rick’s time, effort and love for the game.”

“I never met a coach more committed to developing his players and nurturing their overall love of the game,” added NHSC Travel Girls Commissioner and coach RJ Franz. “He viewed coaching as a privilege and each day he had on the pitch as a gift."

“Rick’s passion for and knowledge of the game of soccer were what made him a great coach. But it was his love for his players that made him amazing,” said Tracy Borne, NHSC Vice President of Facilities and longtime friend. “He put their safety – both physical and emotional – first above all else. He saw potential in every player and his belief in them buoyed their belief in themselves.”

She continued, “His sense of humor brought a lightheartedness to the field and was an ever-present reminder that hard work and fun do not have to be mutually exclusive. Players and parents alike felt safe with Rick at the helm of the ship.”

“It has been an incredible journey for the past 10 years to see the passion with which Rick coached, not only at NHSC, but at FC Pittsburgh and North Hills Middle School,” said Tori Vollbrecht, NHSC Uniform and Events Coordinator and longtime friend. “It is inspiring to see someone pursue their dream with such vigor and passion. He truly wanted everyone to love ‘the beautiful game’ as much as he did.”

NHSC sends our deepest sympathies to Rick’s family and friends. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

“Today, we are all feeling lost,” Tracy Borne added, “But we know that Rick would not want us to feel lost. He would want us to find each other, and get through this together, as a team. He will live on in a thousand different ways, and it is up to each and every one of us to find what part of Rick will live on through us. His presence will be with us forever – both on our fields, and in our hearts.”

North Hills School District counselors have been made available to anyone in need. Please contact your child’s school counselor directly if you require assistance.

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