Just weeks prior to preseason, the Randolph-Macon Women’s Soccer Team received word that they would be coached by a new face in the upcoming 2014 season.
Jim Woods, the former head coach of the women’s soccer team, accepted the position as the Assistant Director of Admissions here at Randolph-Macon. So with little time to spare as the season quickly approached, the Athletic Department went in search for a new person to head the program.
Within no time at all, Randolph-Macon found their man. On Aug. 12, 2014, Randolph-Macon put out a statement that said Jay Howell had been named the as the head women’s soccer coach at Randolph-Macon.
However, coaching at Randolph-Macon is only part of Howell’s soccer involvement.
Earlier this year, he accepted the position of Executive Director and Director of Soccer of the Richmond Strikers. He will continue with this position while coaching the women’s soccer team.
Howell has coaching experience at many different levels of the game including colligate experience at his alma mater, the University of Richmond, as well as high school and club level programs.
One of his most notable positions was at the University of North Carolina where he held the position of assistant coach for the men’s soccer team and helped to build the program into a nationally recognized program.
Even with the highly impressive qualifications that Howell brought to the table, there was still certainty still some doubt in some of the player’s minds.
What changes would Howell bring to the program? How differently would the program be run with a new coach?
Overall, Howell is receiving raving reviews from his players; they cannot say enough positive things about him and the things he has done for the women’s soccer program. Sophomore Morgan Gray noted how excited he was to come into the program and get started.
She stated that, “he has a fresh and relatable coaching style.” She continued to note how great he fit into their, for the most part, established program, and that “you wouldn’t even know he’s only known [the team] for a short time.”
Junior, Lindsey Hall also had nothing but great things to say about Howell. She noted how well he brought the girls together and made her and the team believe that this was the beginning of a “new era” in women’s soccer at Randolph-Macon.
She continued: “Coach Howell teaches [the team] new things each day at practice.” Hall also mentioned all of the “talented volunteers” that Howell has brought to the team that added additional success to the program. “I am honored that he is our coach,” she said.
The Randolph-Macon women’s soccer team is off to a fast start to begin their fall 2014 season. They are currently 3-0, coming off a hot victory against Neumann where they convincingly won 7-0, with six of their 7 goals coming in the first half. The women take the field again September 13 at Guilford.
-Becca Ream ’16, Senior Sports Editor