With women’s head soccer coach Kevin Roos resigning due to family reasons on Jan. 10 after five seasons at the helm, both players and fans are left with questions about what’s next for the program.
One thing they know for sure is that Deputy Athletic Director Rachel Bergeson will lead the search for the programs’ seventh head coach. Erin Eidsness, a junior and one of the team’s captains, is grateful for Bergeson’s help.
“We are lucky that Rachel Bergeson has been so wonderful through this process and has taken up majority of the workload,” Eidsness said.
As head of the search team, Bergeson is taking advantage of many different outlets to find a coach. The job has been posted on the Concordia College job page, as well as other sports-specific jobs sites and the national NCAA market.
“Basically, every NCAA utilizes it,” Bergeson said, referring to the NCAA market site. “It’s kind of a one-stop shop. People can search on it based on geographic area or specific type of position. So that will be one of the main pieces.”
In the pursuit for a good fit, there are certain qualities the search team is looking for.
“Obviously, we’re looking for some soccer coaching experience, that’s kind of the baseline,” Bergeson said. “But I think one of the things that’s unique to the college scheme is that recruitment factor. We always look for if they have had experience recruiting or if they have transferable skills that can be used for recruitment.”
Until the head coach position is filled, Bergeson will be responsible for keeping in touch with players Roos had already been recruiting.
This spring, the women’s soccer team will continue training for the upcoming season while assisting the athletic administration in the search for the next head coach. While Bergeson will lead the search process, one or two players will have the opportunity to help.
Once the hiring process gets to the finalist stage, the candidates will have an opportunity to visit campus and meet the team without the presence of administrators. After these meetings, each individual player will have the opportunity to write comments and opinions.
Bergeson said she would like to hire a new coach by the end of March. However, the team is not waiting until March to move forward. The team does weekly footwork and skills sessions as well as strength and conditioning training. Even without a coach holding them accountable, the team has been working hard to improve.
Domenic Fraboni, a Cobber alum and current physical therapy student at Mayo Clinic, has been leading the team in strength and conditioning during the offseason — an important component of any athletic program trying to improve.
“Workouts that I created for the ladies tried to help optimize an athlete’s posture while also increasing their explosiveness,” Fraboni said. “The unique combination of resistance training, plyometric repetitions, and agility training was geared toward developing all the physical characteristics that can be pieced together to make a phenomenal athlete.”
Even though Fraboni believes his work out plan will give the players optimal performance results, he also understands how important it is for a team to have a good work ethic and positive attitude.
“As a team, you can have the most incredible workout plan in the world, but it will be fruitless unless the entire team buys in,” Fraboni said.
And the entire team seems to be buying in.
“All the girls are hard workers and I have only seen improvements in their motivation since we found out Roos would not be returning,” Eidsness said.
So while the transition brings uncertainty, those close to the program remain hopeful.
“We believe that women’s soccer can become that consistent playoff participant in our conference and competitive for MIAC championships,” Bergeson said. “We truly believe that’s achievable for that program. I don’t see why we can’t become a playoff team in 2018. With some hard work and a good search process, I think we can get there.”