In a shocking announcement on Monday, Brittany Bolick informed her team that she was stepping down as head coach of the girls' soccer team at Watauga High at the end of the season. Bolick, who played soccer and basketball for the Pioneers, has accepted an assistant coaching position at Appalachian State University with the women's soccer program. Bolick played collegiately at Charleston-Southern University (2005-09).


"I'm at a point where I wanted to test the waters, and to see what it will be like to coach at the next level," Bolick said. "And if I really want to coach at that level. It's wide open right now, and I like that because it's a personal challenge for me, if I want to continue coaching, especially at the college level. And going to ASU is a perfect fit.


"(App State coach) Sarah Strickland and (her top assistant) Linday Cobb are tremendous coaches, and their great people. I need to learn more about the game, if I want to be a successful head coach, to keep growing as a head coach. And for me personally, it's better to learn under someone at that level. Coach Strickland and I have a similar coaching philosophy and it's a great fit personality wise. This is a good learning tool for me."


Bolick, who graduated from WHS in 2005, took over as coach of the Pioneers in the spring of 2011. During her four-year stay with the program, the Pioneers have gone 43-24-8. They're currently 10-2-3 this season.


Bolick was a four-year varsity player in soccer and a four-year varsity player in basketball. She was a three-time all-conference selection, and a two-time all-region performer in soccer. She was also named the Northwestern 4A Player of the Year her senior year in 2005; She was also named to the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association Class 4A All State Team her senior year. Bolick was named was a two-time Honorable Mention selection in basketball her junior and senior years at WHS.


At Charleston Southern, Bolick was a two-time all conference performer and she was named the team's Most Valuable Player both her junior and senior years.


"It was extremely tough to walk away from this group I have at Watauga," she said. "But it's an exciting opportunhity for me. I know I'm leaving behind a great group of girls, a great group of parents and a very supportive community. It's extremely difficult. But it's something I have to do.


"I still need to learn more about the game, and coach Strickland and her staff are very supportive of me. We'll got at it full-time this summer once our season at Watauga is over. I may even take a couple of courses at ASU (next fall) and get my Master's degree, which is something I need to do, if I want to continue coaching at that level. I'm excited about this opportunity and my goal is to succeed."


Something she's done her entire life.