PHCC to field soccer teams in 2012
Patrick Henry Community College's soccer program hit the field for the first time in August 2012, according to a news release from the school.
PHCC announced Wednesday that the school will field a men's and women's team, becoming in the process the only school in Virginia with a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) soccer program.
PHCC Athletic Director Christopher Parker has already hired the head coaches for both teams, naming Scott Haywood the men's coach and Larry Wylie the women's coach.
Haywood, of Chicago, Ill., spent the past two years with the Everton FC team of the English Premier League. In addition, Haywood has coached with the Chicago Fire of the MLS, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Lambuth University and the University of Memphis. He is also the founder and director of the Back of the Net Soccer Academy. He holds a B.S. degree from the University of Memphis and a master's degree in Sports Management from Virginia Commonwealth University.
"I'm excited about it, I really am. I'm looking forward to it," said Haywood of the PHCC job. "I love the area, I love the people. I think I can make a difference."
Haywood, who grew up in Kansas City, Mo., fell in love with this part of the country while working toward his master's degree at VCU.
He will remain the director of coaching for Everton FC this season but plans to leave that position in order to work at PHCC.
"After coaching professionally, I want to get back to coaching players who play because they love it," he said.
Haywood said it's not that he doesn't enjoy coaching professional soccer, it's just that he feels his impact can be greater when dealing with young adults who are still finding their way.
"One thing I love about coaching college that I think this is more important than anything: I still hear from players I coached in high school or college 20 years ago," he explained.
Parker felt the hire was a home run.
"We are very excited to have such a high caliber of coach start the program here at PHCC," said Parker of his men's coach. "He is going to make things happen here at a very fast pace."
Wylie, the current boys soccer coach at Bassett High School, played collegiately at Longwood University in Farmville and professionally for the Colorado Rapids.
On Wednesday, he called the job an "ideal" opportunity.
"It's really probably a coach's dream as far as entering intercollegiate level," said Wylie, who lives in Collinsville. "You get to start a ground-up program. You get to mold a program the way you want to mold it. You get to bring your philosophy, your teachings. You're not following in anyone's shadow."
There's pressure, but there's no pressure. You know what I mean?" he added.
Since the women's team will play in the fall and Bassett's boys team competes in the spring, Wylie said he plans to coach both teams in 2012.
Wylie has 10 years of high school coaching experience in Virginia, and he has organized indoor and outdoor soccer venues in the Suffolk and Portsmouth area, according to the release.
He will bring "a physical, high-pressure brand of soccer, creating turnovers and a very fast speed of play" to PHCC's women's team, he said.
Wylie also plans to recruit in-state players most of the time, including athletes from the immediate area.
"We're the only junior college program in the state, so that's a big draw," he said. "I plan on staying within the state. Now, I will go out of state if players contact us, but for the most part" I'll recruit Virginia residents, he said.
Parker heralded the hiring in the release.
"Larry is overly excited about this job, and he will be a great asset to PHCC," Parker said. "His knowledge of recruiting in Virginia is going to greatly impact the men's and women's teams."
Both PHCC teams will compete against fellow Region X soccer teams such as Wake Technical Community College, Cape Fear Community College, Louisburg College, USC-Sumter, USC-Aiken, Spartanburg-Methodist College and Tri-County College.
The Patriot soccer clubs will compete at the NJCAA Division I level, and all home matches and team practices will take place at the Smith River Sports Complex.
Anyone interested in competing for PHCC's soccer teams should contact the athletic department at 656-0313. For more information, visit the school's sports website at www.phccsports.com.