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Bush leaves Cowboys to lead youth program

By MIKE READLING

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 7, 2001


TAMPA -- For six years, Adrian Bush molded players at Gaither. He took over a struggling program with good players and turned them into state champions.

Now he is moving on to an even bigger task.

Bush resigned as the Cowboys coach to become the Director of Coaching for the new Hillsborough County United Soccer Club.

"I feel like the first year is going to be very critical, and I didn't want anything on the outside taking away from it," Bush said.

"I still want to be a part of the Gaither program either as an assistant or a second assistant or even a third assistant. Just without the schedule we've been working on for the past six years. We took it to another level."

Bush will oversee the development of 2,500 to 3,000 players and hiring of coaches for Hillsborough United, which is a combination of the Northdale, Greater Tampa and Carrollwood soccer clubs.

The 1-year-old club is based out of Ed Radice Park in Citrus Park as part of a complex that features nine soccer fields on one side and baseball and softball fields on the other.

"It's the best complex in the state by far," Bush said. "I'm so excited about this. We have nine fields. Most other complexes only have four. It's like a golf course. And I can watch soccer and then go across the street and watch the T-Ball games just like I used to do when I played in New Orleans.

"I've dreamed about this since I was a kid."

Bush led the Cowboys to three final fours, won the 1999 Class 6A state title and won the past three regional finals. Gaither also won the PUMA tournament and was a regular in the national rankings. He leaves with a career record of 125-24-8.

Among the choices for Gaither athletic director Jim Pullin to replace Bush are assistant coaches Greg Zak and Dennis Perello and former Jesuit and University of Tampa standout Eric Sims.

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