Gwilliam takes over women’s soccer

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LEE MILLER TTN The new women’s soccer head coach Matt Gwilliam was an assistant coach at Virginia Tech. Over the last nine years, he worked at three different programs.

Gwilliam replaces David Jones, who resigned in November.

The 2010-2011 year has been a season of change for many of the athletic programs at Temple as a number of coaches have decided to move on. The women’s soccer team found itself in that exact predicament.

The team has named its new head coach, Matt Gwilliam, who is only the fourth head coach in program history. Gwilliam is taking over the program following David Jones, who announced his resignation in November after eight seasons at the helm and an overall record of 38-95-14.

Gwilliam will undergo the challenge of revitalizing the program while also enjoying a homecoming. The Quakertown native spent the last three seasons as an assistant at Virginia Tech. He returns to Pennsylvania as a first-time head coach and is happy to be coming home.

“When I saw this opportunity arise, I went after it full bore because I knew I’d love to come back home,” Gwilliam said.

Gwilliam brings plenty of assistant coaching experience to the table. Although this is his first head coaching opportunity, he seems quite confident and ready for the task.

“I’ve had nine years at three programs as an assistant … you learn what to do. You learn what not to do,” Gwilliam said. “It helps you really hone your own style and get a grasp of what you really value and how you want to run a program. I owe everything I am now to the three head coaches I‘ve worked under.”

Gwilliam is no stranger to success. He helped guide the Hokies to three straight NCAA tournaments and plans to foster that type of winning attitude at Temple.

“You really got to believe in team culture,” Gwilliam said. “It’s our program. It’s not mine. It’s not [the players]. It’s ours.”

Gwilliam has wasted no time getting started. He and his staff are already planning diligently for the upcoming season.

“We got to get the right mindset for how we’re going to attack this,” Gwilliam said. “We may have to be more professional about how we go about things, but these kids are hard working.”

“My staff and I are recruiting, recruiting, recruiting.  [We’re] trying to establish connections that I have across the country and across the world,” Gwilliam added. “We want this team to be able to compete, and they are going to compete everyday.”

Gwilliam mentioned the team is recruiting two to three years down the line at this point while also looking for anyone who may still be available for next season.

Gwilliam has yet to meet with his team for the first time as a group, but has plans for that first encounter.

“We are going to go over our vision for the program,” Gwilliam said. “I’m a big believer in building a program around three things – team culture, accountability and athleticism. Those are things that they can control as a group and I am going to put the message forth to them that they need to take hand in this process.”

Gwilliam plans to hear a great deal from the players themselves.

“I want to see what they thought their successes and failures were here and why they came about that way because like I said it’s ours, it’s Temple’s. I might be at the top of the chain, but we all have a say in it,” Gwilliam said.

Raymond Boyd can be reached at raymond.boyd@temple.edu.

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