Coaching change headlines offseason for UVU soccer teams

Utah Valley head coach Brent Anderson calls to his players during the first half of UVU Women's Soccer vs. Utah on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. (Douglas C. Pizac for UVU Marketing)

Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics

With the 2016 season months in the rearview mirror for the men’s and women’s UVU soccer teams, the offseason is in full swing. As is always the case, the offseason brings change, the biggest of this year’s being a head coaching switch.

Brent Anderson stepped down as head coach of the women’s team after his eleventh season. He has departed to take an assistant coach position on the staff of the BYU women’s soccer team. The departure could be seen as a part of the domino effect that began when former BYU associate head coach Chris Watkins was hired as the new head coach at Gonzaga University on Dec. 12. UVU has named associate head coach Alyssa Christensen the interim head coach as the search for a new head coach continues.

The impending coaching change didn’t prevent UVU from pulling in a decent 2017 recruiting class, however. The class is composed of forward Sadie Brockbank, center back Amanda Mangelson, midfielders Brinley Nelson and Bailee Wooden, and defenders Siri Dahl and Cassidy McCormick. All six recruits come from within the state of Utah, have a variety of experience in high school state tournaments and received some form of All-State honors.

Meanwhile, on the men’s side of UVU soccer, some coaching changes are being made as well. After assistant coach Jonny Broadhead was hired to be the head coach at Dixie State University in December, head coach Greg Maas announced the hiring of a familiar face. Former volunteer assistant coach Michael Chesler returns to the Wolverines after one season on the men’s soccer staff at High Point University.

“Coach Chesler is undoubtedly one of the top young coaches in college soccer, and we are very fortunate to be able to bring his energy, experience, and professionalism back to our program and players,” said Maas in a statement to Wolverine Green.

The 2017 recruiting class for the men’s team is composed of seven high school players and one transfer from BYU. Midfielder Paytin Ayau, coming from Hawaii, and forward Zech Meddleton, coming from New Mexico, are the only players in this year’s class coming from outside the state of Utah. Ayau was named to both All-State and All-Tournament teams for his performance and was listed on TopDrawerSoccer.com’s High School All-American watch list. He and Meddleton, along with forward Zach Maas and BYU transfer Jaiden Waggoner, will be at UVU this fall.

Center back Aidan Dayton, defender Sam Hess, Aaron Nixon and forward Ian Stonehocker will serve two-year missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before attending UVU.

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