Van Eron will interview for Spirit coaching job

May 13, 1994|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

Keith Van Eron, a former Blast goalie, is a candidate for the Spirit coaching job.

Van Eron, 38, is scheduled for an interview today with owner Bill Stealey, a close friend. Van Eron, who played for the Blast six seasons in the 1980s, is a partner in Keith Van Eron Sporting Goods in Cockeysville, coaches youth teams and conducts camps.

Van Eron got a call Wednesday from Spirit president and general manager Kenny Cooper asking if he was interested in the job.

"That surprised me, because Kenny and I haven't always seen eye to eye," Van Eron said. "I'm very interested. It's a prestigious job."

Cooper said he had no response to Van Eron's comment. Cooper is endorsing Spirit assistant coach Mike Stankovic. Spirit player Tim Wittman, for one, endorses Van Eron.

"Keith would be ideal," said Wittman, who missed the second half of last season after undergoing knee surgery. "He fits the Stealey mold of a coach. Looks and acts good. Articulate. Always around the game. Well known here. Knows business. And he's an American. That's important if soccer is going to the next level, to have American coaches. Baltimore is ready for a change, and this is a needed change."

Stealey also is scheduled to interview Stankovic again today, to discuss the written presentation Stankovic made on practice and work ethics and offensive philosophy.

"Mike left some things out and I want to review it with him one more time," Stealey said. "He did a pretty good job, and he's well qualified. But the club deserves the benefit of a review of all options by me."

Stealey declined to name any of the candidates except Stankovic, who was recommended by Cooper the day after he stepped down as coach after the Spirit had been eliminated from the NPSL playoffs by the Harrisburg Heat. Stealey said he hopes "to have a coach by the middle of next week."

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