North Hills girls soccer coach dies

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Thursday, June 17, 2021 | 2:20 PM


The North Hills athletic community took a hit with the announcement of the sudden death of soccer coach Rick Kabbert.

The 52-year old Kabbert coached the Indians high school girls team last fall after two years with the North Hills Middle School boys program.

“Rick was dedicated, committed and passionate about soccer and his players,” North Hills athletic director Pat Weber said. “He was a team-oriented leader that wanted to do anything in his control for the program to turn the corner. He was all about creating a positive culture and committed to the overall process of building a program. These were all great attributes to him as a coach, but Rick was a genuine person. He always was looking to make himself better in anything he did. He was a joy to work alongside and such a great asset to the athletic department as a whole.”

Kabbert coached in the North Hills community for the last 11 years.

“His values as a person and a coach translated to his players, and he always wanted them to be the best they could on and off the field in anything they did,” Weber said. “A recent post from his personal Instagram account before his passing was a quote, ‘The goal isn’t to live forever but to create something that will.’ This was his outlook in life and a message for his team to build a legacy one game and one season at a time.”

The Indians finished 5-8-1 overall last season but won their final four games.

“Rick was definitely excited about this upcoming season to build on their finish from last season,” Weber said. “They ended the season on a four-game winning streak, including a 1-0 home win over Fox Chapel on Oct. 19 as Fox Chapel was about to enter the playoffs as a very high seed. He was taking that momentum right into summer conditioning and into the fall.”

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

“He was a friend, a confidant, a caring father, and someone that our players could rely on,” Ryan McEnroe, president of the North Hills Girls Soccer Boosters, said in a statement released by the school. “Coaching soccer was his passion and he truly loved coaching the girls. We are all deeply saddened by this news.”

School counselors are available to students.

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