After the conclusion of a disappointing season, the Albion College Women’s Soccer Team (0-18-2, 0-14-2 MIAA) is without a coach.
Coach Tammy Jolly stepped down on November 5th, following two consecutive winless seasons. The Britons struggled this season, failing to score in 13 of their 20 games. Both of Albion’s ties came against Trine, which also counted as Trine’s only non-losses.
The team was not informed of Coach Jolly’s plans to resign before those plans became final. While players were surprised, they understood the move.
“I was surprised, mostly because she didn’t let on like anything was wrong,” said Mariah Phelps, Lawton first-year. “But under the circumstances it was expected.”
Players seemed to genuinely like the coach, but felt her coaching didn’t fit the program. “The coach’s teaching style and what the team wanted were different,” said Madeline Hutchinson, Brighton junior. “She was a good coach, it was just different.”
Despite losing their coach, the Britons are focused and determined going into the offseason. That focus might be Jolly’s legacy at Albion. “She left a whole workout plan and what we should do and had meetings with the captains numerous times,” said Hutchinson. “We have great leaders on the team, we should have a really successful offseason.”
The Athletic Department will now embark on a national search for a new coach. Athletic Director Matt Arend laid out clear goals for their candidate. “We are looking for someone who will add some stability into the program,” Arend said, “and put the program in a place that returns us to the top half of the conference, if not winning championships.”
According to Arend, there are many applicants already, and candidates will begin touring campus during the winter break. The department will work with the team to bring in the ideal head of the program. The search has included discussions with national and regional soccer organizations, and with other athletic directors about potential candidates. Arend also said that many applicants have come from overseas.
Arend is looking forward to working with the team to find a new coach.
“We have a team leader that is part of the process from the time we start phone interviews until the time the candidates are in campus,” Arend said. “We ask for feedback from the team.”
The team also has an idea of what it is looking for in a new coach. “I am definitely looking for someone who is going to be straightforward with us, someone who’s not as passive,” said Phelps. “I want someone who doesn’t accept anything less than perfection out of us.
Hutchinson echoed the same sentiments, “The team agrees that we want a more aggressive coach.”
The athletic department and the team know that the program has potential, and with quality leadership, the team can return to its former place among the MIAA’s best programs. “If you look from a historic perspective, women’s soccer has been one of the most successful sports we have on campus.” Arend said. “I think we have a lot to sell, we have a good group of women coming back from that program.”
The Britons have a lot of hope for the future of the team, and clear goals in mind. “I want us to have a winning season,” said Phelps. “I want us to be a competitor in the MIAA.”
Hopefully, under new leadership, that dream can become a reality.
Photo Courtesy of Madeline Hutchinson.