Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Begins with new Assistant Coach

We had a couple of good practices before spring break. When we returned from spring break, we were able to practice Monday – Friday and play a game on Saturday. Six days in a row of soccer is probably the most consecutive days of soccer these ladies have played since they were in high school.

During spring break, our basketball teams lost in the conference tournament. In the men’s tournament, the Belmont coaches and staff and I were happy that Lipscomb lost in the first round. Our excitement did not last long because, unfortunately, Belmont lost too. The men’s basketball team finished the regular season in a four way tie for first place. Our women’s basketball team won their first round game in overtime. It was good to see them win a close one. We were unlucky to get ETSU, the defending tournament champions, in the semi-finals.

I love March Madness. It’s nice being able to watch basketball on the computer in the office and not having to worry about the “boss button.” Actually, I am watching a women’s game right now – Florida State vs. St. John’s.

My new assistant coach is Andy Stoots. I did not have to look far. Andy came to us from ETSU where he has been an assistant coach/associate head coach the last 6 years. Andy is knowledgeable about the conference. ETSU qualified for the A-Sun Tournament in 5 of his 6 years. Andy is an excellent recruiter. He can coach any position. Andy’s character and integrity make him not only a great fit for Belmont but also a wonderful young man for parents to feel good about teaching their daughters. He is working at Belmont about 4 or 5 days a week while he and his family relocate from Johnson City.

I think the Belmont women’s soccer program is in a great place when I can attract an assistant coach with so much experience. I have hired very few assistants who were actually full-time coaches prior. I credit the team’s success, Belmont University, and being in Nashville as big reasons why I have been able to bring such good assistant coaches to Belmont.

We played MTSU on Saturday. The score ended tied 0-0. They had more chances to score than we did. I was a little disappointed in the quality of our play. I was even more disappointed in the lack of energy and excitement. I know it is not going to be like the fall, but it needs to be more intense than study hall. The wind did not help the quality of the game, and every time the ball went out of bounds, it blew away, and it took 2 minutes to chase the ball and get it back in play. It was difficult for both teams to sustain any kind of rhythm. It looked as if we had not played in a while, which we haven’t played in a while. We had 6 players, who did not dress for the conference tournament, play in the game on Saturday. The spring is a great opportunity for our depth players to develop and prove themselves.

I am excited about this weekend. We are going to a 7 A-Side Tournament at Western Kentucky. Kyle and I split the team into 2 teams. He will coach one, and I will coach the other. Players should be excited about 7 A-Side. This will be a good weekend to fix the lack of energy and excitement.

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