By Dennis Erturk
For new women’s head soccer coach Jay Mason, the task of leading a team that previously had three head coaches in a span of three years is not easy. But he hopes to achieve even more this year at the helm of the women’s soccer team.
Mason wants to develop a program and not just a team.
“What we’re going to try and bring is a culture, an exciting brand of soccer where we are aggressive, attack, and as far as student athletes go, I want them to be great ambassadors of the school,” Mason said.
While many new college coaches are focused solely on wins and losses, Mason is committed to developing the best possible team, as well as building a program that is the basis for the success of student athletes on and off the field for years to come.
This is the first head coach position for Mason, who grew up in Canada.
He was an assistant coach at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas for nine seasons.
“I was fortunate enough that my mentor there gave me a lot of freedom and a lot of opportunities to learn how to run a program and what it takes to be successful, not just the soccer component but making sure that they are well-rounded student-athletes,” Mason said
Mason played professionally in England for two clubs as well as in Austin and Minnesota before becoming a college coach. He says the experiences he had from his playing days also helped in developing the culture that he is trying to establish as the women’s head soccer coach.
Although Mason has been the head coach for less than a full season, his players have noticed the differences in his style of coaching compared to those of his predecessors.
“I think Jay is way more patient with us, and has a lot more confidence in our team, and is willing to bring our program up and be successful and willing to put in the work for every individual, take them aside and make them the best player they can be,” said sophomore defender Natalie DiAngelo.
Mason also stressed the importance of maintaining stability and direction with a new team that is still developing.
Some players have also seen development since the departure of the previous coach.
“I definitely see a lot of improvement,” said senior midfielder Lauren Miller. “He is one of the coaches who is first in the office and in the gym and last to leave. He really helps us succeed, seeing someone who’s dedicated to the program. You can tell he really cares about all of us and wants us all to succeed.”
As far as the players’ expectations for Mason and the program, his players say they expect to make it to the CCAA tournament, and they believe they have the talent and great coaching that will give them a good chance to push further to the NCAA tournament and even win.
Mason knows this season will have its ups and downs, but he is focused on building a program that will continue to grow.
Courtesy of Bronco Athletics
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