Josh Moore

Paul Laurence Dunbar's Todd Bretz claims state record for boys' soccer wins

Dunbar coach Todd Bretz  as Woodford County defeated Dunbar 2-1 on  Tuesday September 22, 2015 in Lexington, KY. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff
Dunbar coach Todd Bretz as Woodford County defeated Dunbar 2-1 on Tuesday September 22, 2015 in Lexington, KY. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff Herald-Leader

Paul Laurence Dunbar soccer coach Todd Bretz claimed the state record for wins with the Bulldogs' 1-0 victory over Desmet (Mo.) in the Gateway City Classic in St. Louis on Saturday.

Ricky Clemente had the deciding goal in the record-setting win, splitting the defense and getting past the keeper for a score with five minutes left to play.

The previous state mark of 433 was set by John Horton. Horton coached 28 years at Covington Catholic and finished 433-165-36.

Horton said he could remember when Bretz was a "rugrat player" at Lexington Catholic.

"I'm happy for him," Horton said. "I'm most happy that (the record) is going to someone I have tremendous respect for."

Paul Dunbar earned its first boys' soccer state title in 1992, three years into the school's existence. The Bulldogs beat Horton's CovCath team 3-1 in the semifinals that season. Dunbar added three more titles in 2001, 2005 and 2013.

Bretz, now in his 26th season at Dunbar, entered the year needing 13 wins to claim the record. His career record is 434-151-32, meaning he has won 70 percent of his games. He's been the only coach Dunbar's ever known.

"I haven't won a game since I played in high school," Bretz told the Herald-Leader after tying the record in the Bulldogs' 2-0 win against Scott County on Tuesday. "We've had a lot of great players, a lot of great parents, a lot of great people involved. I've just been blessed to be part of it.

"It's a player's game. They've done all the work. I've just been able to enjoy the ride."

Bretz and the Bulldogs will go for win No. 435 later Saturday when they play Francis Howell out of St. Charles, Mo., in their final game in the tournament.

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