By: Hannah Waldera
Over this past summer, the women’s soccer team was in search of a new head coach. After much trial and error, a coach was found roughly one week before preseason. As the season approached the new coach fell through and could no longer take the position, leaving the team without a coach two days before the season started. Shocked, the women’s team was notified of this issue. “At a meeting when we arrived on campus, we were told that our previous coach quit the night before and we were informed that Bryan Courtney would take the coaching role for both the women’s and men’s team,”says Celeste Robledo, captain of the women’s soccer team.
Bryan Courtney, head coach of the men’s soccer team, was put in charge of coaching the women’s team as well as still coaching the men. “I initially had mixed emotions. Excitement because of the players on the women’s team but also anxiety about the logistics of coaching both teams.” By coaching both teams, Bryan is faced with new experiences and challenges on both the women’s and men’s teams as the season continues.
It is time consuming to go from the men’s and then the women’s practices almost every day. Since time is an issue, he has needed to learn how to better manage it. “I have learned that I need to do a better job at empowering leaders on both teams. By doing this, it helps leaders take charge of things instead of me having to do it. Without as much time as I have, creating leaders on both teams makes my life easier." Not only has Bryan had to learn how to manage him coaching both teams, but players on the men’s and women’s team have also had to manage this as well.
Although the men’s team still has the same coach, their season looks a little different than in the past. “Initially I wasn’t too thrilled that he would be coaching both teams because he wouldn’t focus on our team as much because he would be have split time. As time passed, I accepted the situation and tried to understand the situation which helped me want to step up more and help the team,” says Sean Png, captain of the men’s soccer team. Although the men had mixed emotions about Bryan becoming the coach, the players on the women’s team were excited. “I was very excited because I knew how good of a coach he was and I also knew that he would be a great addition to the team,” says Celeste.
As being apart of the women’s soccer team myself, this is a story that means a lot to me. I appreciate that Bryan adds a sense of security to the team. He has us confront our problems head on, which is something that I think is well needed on a women’s team. All in all, I appreciate all that Bryan has done for the team and I know that not only myself, but the rest of the team are excited to see where the rest of the season takes us.