Assistant Sports Editor
After 27 years, the Springfield College men’s soccer team will have a new head coach. Steffen Siebert was named the Pride’s next head coach, following in the footsteps of Peter Haley.
Siebert had been the associate head coach under Haley for the past three seasons and found out last Wednesday that he would be the next coach. He received a call from the Dean of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Charlie Redmond.
“I was caught off guard a little bit, I didn’t know what to do,” said Siebert. “I was not expecting a call that day any more, so my celebration was playing two intramural games that night.”
In addition to his position with the team, Siebert will also become a faculty member in the School of HPER. This will add to his duties as an adjunct professor in the psychology department.
The Springfield College teacher-coach model has been successful in the past because it also brings in the academic side of the college when hiring a new coach. The process runs through many offices, including Dean Redmond’s.
“The School of HPER runs the search: we write up the position description, because the teacher-coach will be responsible to two different entities: Dr. [Cathie] Schweitzer and Athletics and Dr. [Kathy] Mangano and the Physical Education Department,” said Redmond. “It was my job to balance the needs on the academic side and the needs on the athletic side. That shrunk the pool because we were looking for someone to be more than just a coach.”
Siebert’s contributions to both the academic needs of the school and the needs of the team on the soccer field helped him jump off the page, making him one of four finalists who were brought to campus for an all-day interview.
Siebert ran the gauntlet of school representatives, meeting with Redmond, Schweitzer, Mangano, a search committee, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jean Wyld and members of the team. This all-day interview ended with a presentation given by Siebert.
“His skill set, what he demonstrated through the paper process and the interview process, he was the best choice for us,” said Redmond.
With spring practices already underway, Siebert was able to jump into his new role and allowed the players to start the new season with an established comfort level.
“We are excited to have someone who has been with the program before and has been a major contributor to our team’s success,” said team captain David Chessen. “Overall I think the team is just looking forward to continuing the success we had from last season and happy to have coach Siebert as our new head coach.”
Chessen is among seven seniors returning from this year’s NEWMAC Tournament champions. Also returning will be freshman goalkeeper Brett Bascom and freshman forwards Kevin Nowak and Zach Dutter, who led the team in scoring.
Jimmy Kelley can be reached at email@example.com