After the departure of Springfield College legend, Coach Peter Haley from the men’s soccer team, former assistant coach, Steffen Seibert, had larger-than-life shoes to fill. Seibert saw tenure from Haley, who led the Pride to over 200 victories in his 27 years, and that he is at the helm of a special school and an even more special group of players.
“I’m just so happy, it’s hard to describe, but it is just such a great feeling,” said Seibert regarding being named the first new head coach the Pride has seen in just under three decades. He says, “it’s more about where I’m a coach, and not so much that I’m a head coach, but I’m here with these boys, and I think that makes a difference.”
Coming off a season where Springfield was awarded an NCAA tournament berth by winning the New England Women and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship, Seibert knows that he will have a lot of pressure in maintaining the prowess that Haley left behind.
“We need nine points and we have six games to do that in,” said Seibert. I think once we get to that level, not a lot of teams will want to play us”
Since arriving on campus, Seibert has changed the face of the Pride, posting a record of 22-13-5, while being an associate head coach of Haley’s. The past two seasons marked the first time a Springfield team has had back-to-back double-digit victories since the 1989 and 1990 seasons.
Under direction of Haley, the Springfield program has bred a strong core of hard working and talented individuals. With a chance to make this the third double-digit victory season in a row, Seibert knows these are the types of players who he enjoys working with the most.
“Being a head coach is one thing, but coaching this group of guys — after tonight [against Wesleyan] where you saw all the character after being down 4-0 — they’re still going hard. That’s the boys I want to coach. That makes me very happy that I am their coach,” said Seibert.
So far this season, the Pride have gotten off to a slow start. Their record posts at 1-4 entering league play on Saturday, but the record does not directly reflect their play on the field. All of their losses except for Wesleyan have come not because they got outplayed, but simply because they were unlucky. They have played teams like Keene State and Western New England competitively, but in both instances have come out on the losing end of things.
“I would like for us to get better from day-to-day, and I hope that at the end of the season we are going to make the postseason,” said Coach Seibert. “We need nine points in the conference, and we will qualify for the next round.”
The Pride have no easy task in playing their first three road matches — Coast Guard on Sept. 15, ECSU Sept. 16, and Wheaton Sept. 22 — with Coast Guard and Wheaton being NEWMAC matches. Just as Seibert always tells his team, the men will be taking these “just one match at a time.”
Jon Santer can be reached for comment at