Getting to Know...Coach Hart
1.) What have you been up to this summer?
Nothing too exciting we just finished soccer camp last week and we’re preparing for camp. We’ve been doing a little bit of recruiting and personally I’ve been working out.
2.) The camp is for 10 to 18 year old girls and coordinated by you and some of the GSU players?
Yes this is the first year we’ve split things up and had two camps. On Sunday we just finished our individual camp. In a couple weeks we have what’s called team camp so we have teams who will come in and train for a few days.
3.) Have you learned anything from coaching and organizing young girl’s soccer that has contributed to your coaching at the college level?
I think it’s sometimes fun to coach younger girls. It’s exciting because once you get to the college level you kind of get caught up in wins and losses and kind of the business side. And just to see kids having fun it’s fun to see that side and remember again while we’re doing all of this.
4.) How did you decide you wanted to start playing soccer?
It was funny. We’ve lived in North Carolina and soccer was big in North Carolina and my mom enrolled me in ballet when I was little and my neighbors across the street, their son, was a big soccer player. And his mom told my mom, “You gotta put Ashley in soccer.” And thankfully, after one year of ballet, my mom enrolled me in soccer and I loved it. I was a much better soccer player than a ballerina.
5.) Growing up in North Carolina were you a big Mia Hamm fan?
I was! I went to soccer camp there [UNC] right before I turned 13 and Mia Hamm was playing there and was one of the coaches there so that was pretty cool.
6.) As a soccer player in college, what was your most memorable moment at UNC Asheville?We had a good freshman class come in, a lot of us played a lot, and my freshman year we ended up winning the Conference tournament. We beat UNC-Greensboro, who is in our conference now, and they were definitely the heavy seated favorites and I was lucky enough to score the goal. It was kind of a lucky goal from another girl’s shot but I was lucky enough to get the rebound but we won 1-0. That was probably...definitely the most memorable time there.
7.) As a coach what has been your best experience?
I think two years ago right when everything kind of clicked together. We started beating teams in our conference and our girls started to gain confidence. It was a turning point in our season when we were playing Western Carolina and they were 2nd in the conference and we were 5th or 6th, kind of middle to the bottom, and we went ahead and we went down 1-0 and then we tied it 1-1. We probably outplayed that first half but in the second half, right in the beginning, we came back to make it 2-1 and then we scored, with literally one second left; to make it tied 2-2. And our kids came off deflated but we were going to go play in overtime. And we came back in the second overtime to win it 3-2 and just to see our girls; well we were all very excited. Just to have that confidence coming off the field to say, “Hey we’re a good team now. We’ve got it goin’.”
8.) What have you been working on this summer to help prepare the team for the first game this August?
Well we always send them home with a summer workout and a weight workout they’re suppose to do. They left here very fit, probably the fittest they’ve ever been. And the coaching staff- we’re kind of sitting down to figure out where we think players fit and planning out pre-season to make sure we have good team chemistry so we always try to plan a few things for them to bond. And planning out that first week and a half before our game to think of the things we want to do and the things we need to accomplish.
9.) You have 7 new ladies joining the team this year. How will this affect the roster and how do you and the older players help transition the freshman into college?
I am excited about our freshman class! It’s always a big adjustment for them of going from high school and club soccer to college. It’s kind of a full-time, consistent part of their life. I’m hoping if they can make the transition athletically and academically will be great. Sometimes we have older players we pair up with the younger ones and they compete in fitness tests and things and kind of support each other and bond.
10.) How did you decide you wanted to work at Georgia Southern?
It’s kind of funny. I never thought I was ever going to be a soccer coach. I thought I was going to get into physical therapy or something like that. I got into coaching. I was really kind of blessed to get a coaching job right out of high school. I had worked for UAB for a couple of years and Tom Norton, the coach before me, knew who I was and suggested me to Sam Baker as a coach. So really I came down here saying “Hey, I’ll see what it’s like. It’ll be a good opportunity to say I’ve interviewed for a head coaching job and I remember driving home and thinking “Well if I was going to be a head coach, this is where I want to be.” Just because I love the size; I love Statesboro’s college town. Everyone’s supportive in the athletic department. And I was lucky enough to get the job offered to me and after a lot of kind of debate and prayer I knew this was a good fit for me. And so I’ve really enjoyed it ever since. Good college town, good sports town as well.
11.) What do you like doing around town?
I don’t know. I’m kind of a bum...Movies and that kind of stuff. I’m not a big shopper. I always want to go play putt-putt but really I’ve only been to Hackers probably once. Most time it’s just hanging out. We have card games and dominos. We hang out at houses with some of the other coaches.
12.)What’s your favorite card game?
Probably spades. And we play a game called Nerds. Most people don’t know what that is but it’s a speed game.
13.) Do you have any lucky things you do before a game or anything that gets you pumped up?
Not really. I kind of go over scouting reports and organize the game and I usually pray and that’s usually my routine.
14.) Do you like to play other sports than soccer?
Yes, I’ve played a little intramural soccer. And I guess I played a little intramural basketball. I’m not that good at basketball but I really like basketball. I haven’t been a really good worker outer but I’ve been running and stuff with Coach Smith, the track coach. So I’m trying to get back into it. I guess I did a triathlon a couple weeks ago. So that’s my new hobby I guess.
15.) Do you have sports you especially enjoy watching, too?
Yes. I’m a big Olympics fan. I’m excited about the Olympics coming up. I do like to watch sports. Besides soccer I’m a big basketball fan. I like to watch college basketball. I like college basketball, it’s definitely my favorite. And then the Olympics will be fun. I’m excited to see how we do.
16.) Which GSU soccer game are you looking forward to most this season?
That’s a tough one. Georgia State’s always a big in-state rivalry that our girls always get really geared up for. So I think Georgia State and Mercer are good kind of in-state games. Conference wise...probably Western Carolina is probably a big one. We always play them really well so that’s kind of a fun game to play and then UNC Greensboro is always a rivalry for me to beat. But UNCG is a great team so if we can step up and play them well I think it’ll be a good key game for our season.
17.) What’s something people may not know about you?
I don’t know I’m a pretty open person. I don’t have any real good stories. Let’s see.. My grandfather was a farmer and I just got a Wii that’s probably my new exciting thing to play at my house. I only have a couple [games]. I’ve done Wii Sport; I’m trying to master the tennis. I’m not very good at tennis yet. I’m kind of sore from playing it.
- Category: Women's Soccer
- Published on Wednesday, 02 July 2008 00:14