Coach Seamus O’Connor remembers David Hodgson as an all-around player.
In 2003, O’Connor coached Hodgson with the Reading United A.C., formerly Reading Rage, of the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League. O’Connor hired Hodgson as an assistant coach of Temple University’s women’s soccer team in July.
“He’s just very organized, has high energy and commitment,” O’Connor said. “He would do any job you asked him to do. Not much has changed. It’s interesting that he’s the exact same as he was as a player.”
Hodgson said being reunited with O’Connor was one of the factors that influenced his decision to come to Temple.
“We’re a similar age, so it was always good having Seamus as my head coach,” Hodgson said. “We always had that mutual respect before he signed me.”
In the past two seasons, Hodgson served as head sports scientist, assistant coach and interim head coach of Sky Blue FC, a National Women’s Soccer League team based in New Jersey. He coached two prominent international players, Carli Lloyd and Sam Kerr, at Sky Blue FC.
Despite enjoying coaching professional players, Hodgson said he dreamed of coaching a Division I program, like Temple. He said he wants to help lead the team to the Final Four of the Women’s College Cup.
Hodgson started his coaching career as an assistant coach for the women’s soccer team at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey in 2003. He later gained experience as a head coach at Division III schools Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA and Rutgers University-Camden.
O’Connor said Hodgson’s years of coaching soccer have helped him fit in at Temple.
“[The players] have done a really good job of buying into it and learning from him,” O’Connor said. “U.S. Soccer works a lot with the pro teams and makes sure the athletes are as prepared and organized as possible. A lot of the stuff he’s bringing to us is coming straight from U.S. Soccer.”
Sophomore forward Emma Wilkins said Hodgson’s expertise will help the team move in the right direction.
“He has helped significantly,” Wilkins said. “He’s an amazing coach, and he’s brought lots of new elements and different ideas to the team. I think with the team we have now and plus his skills, I think we’re on a really good track this year.”
Hodgson doesn’t work with a specific group of players at practice, but prefers to work with each member.
“Whether you’re the star player, whether you’re the goalkeeper, whether you’re last off the bench, I truly believe everyone matters and everyone has value toward a successful team,” he said.
“I picked Temple to win,” he said. “I want this program to succeed. I want to take it to another level.”