ALTON - A familiar face returns to the Alton High School athletics department in the Fall.

It was announced at Tuesday's board meeting that Greg Nasello will be returning as the AHS boy's soccer head coach.

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Greg Nasello

He held the position in the past for 12 years from 1998 to 2010 while also coaching the Lady Redbirds during that time.

"It's always fun to go back to coaching at the top level," Nasello said. "I can't wait to be there."

Nasello was a 1982 Alton graduate and played varsity soccer all four years, with a fond memory of scoring the game-winner against rival Marquette Catholic his senior season.

Coaching is in Nasello's blood. He's been doing it since he was 18 years old when he started coaching a U-14 team. He's coached many high schools including MICDS, Rochester, Marquette, and of course Alton. He coached everywhere from Alton Middle to Lewis and Clark Community College.

He's currently the assistant coach for the Marquette Catholic boy's and girl's teams as well as a club coach for the Alton Irish.

That's a whole lot of soccer.

"Soccer is my passion. I absolutely love it," Nasello said.

Nasello takes over the Alton job after Tyler Hamilton stepped down. Before him was Nick Funk. All of them Alton graduates.

Hamilton stepped down to focus on his new teaching job at Southwestern High School where he's also the girl's soccer coach. Hamilton, an avid farmer with a one-year-old daughter and another child expected in June, couldn't find the time to remain at Alton, so the job search began.

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Nasello brings a lifetime of knowledge and experience of the game back to Alton, to a program that has seen four different coaches since 2016.

One could argue that the AHS boy's soccer program is in a bit of a rebuild, but Nasello doesn't think so. He said that Hamilton left him with a lot of pieces, saying that the team this fall has a "great nucleus."

Nasello said he plans to work with what's there with the goal to win state.

"I'm very competitive," Nasello said. "I want to win every game I play."

The program's track record in the postseason leaves a little bit to be desired. No regional plaques in the last 15 years.

"You want to advance in the playoffs," Nasello said.

He says that the Redbirds "have to find a way to get over that hump."

Nasello looks forward to this Spring and Summer when he can start getting the team together and working with them.

"My focus is to get my team to the best they can be on day one," he said.

Nasello plans to continue coaching the Marquette girl's team alongside Brian Hoener.

He's also been teaching in the biology department at LCCC for 30 years and doesn't plan on giving that up either.

He's a busy man but gets to do the thing he loves, which is to continue coaching soccer, right back where it all started.

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