Budget, field have improved under purview of Coach Brent Anderson

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A decade at the helm of the women’s soccer team

Christian Ledek | Sports Writer | @sea_led

Brent Anderson is currently in the middle of his 10th season as head coach of the women’s soccer program at Utah Valley University. He has seen it all since becoming the head coach in 2004, arriving from Utah State where he served as an assistant coach for eight years.WSOC vs Seattle U 9-26-15-5816

He’s watched Utah Valley State College become Utah Valley University. He has helped the women’s soccer team become a major player in the Western Athletic Conference. But Anderson admits, it wasn’t always smooth sailing.

“When I took on this position I knew that it would be an uphill battle,” Anderson said.  “When I first got down here from Utah State, the field we played on was in terrible shape. There were clovers everywhere, there were “natural springs” popping up around the field, little pools of water. It was hard to play on.”

Another problem that Anderson ran into was what kind of money was available to help the program.

“The administration showed me what the budget was for the year,” Anderson said while chuckling a little. “It didn’t even match the equipment budget we had at Utah State.”

Before becoming an assistant coach at Utah State, Anderson played goalkeeper for the USU men’s club soccer team and captained them to an NCSA Final Four appearance.  Back then coaching wasn’t really on his radar.

“Coaching hadn’t really crossed my mind when I was playing up at Utah State,” Anderson said. “I had opened a soccer gear store and an indoor soccer facility (after I graduated). That’s how coaching opportunities became available.  I had developed a relationship with the head coach at the time at Utah State and when a position opened up there, I filled in as an interim coach.  That interim basis became a permanent one.”   

Reflecting about his time at Utah Valley, Anderson is appreciative of the challenge and people who’ve helped the program he runs become so great. WSOC vs Seattle U 9-26-15-5766

“It’s been quite a difficult journey.  We’re the youngest (women’s soccer) D1 program in the state,” Anderson said. “Not only are we competing here at our school for dollars and resources, we’re competing with five other programs in the state for recruits from here in the intermountain west to all along the west coast.  It’s been a struggle, but it’s been a lot of fun at the same time. We have a very supportive administration in the athletic department.  They are and continue to be committed to growing and developing the game of women’s soccer.”

“Great assistant coaches have made my job a lot easier because the players can get more attention and coaching,” Anderson continued. “This includes our tremendous staff of trainers, academic advisors, financial aid advisors, strength coach and our administrators.”

Sometimes it’s not even a new school and program that can be the most challenging thing. It can be recruiting student athletes.

“There is a sense of entitlement that I find in a lot of athletes,” Anderson said. “When you would recruit players five to ten years ago, it would be more of what can I do for you and the program? How do I earn a spot, what can I do to make the program better?  Now, a lot of the time, the player will ask what can you do for me?”

So how does coach Anderson find the right type of student athlete for the program?

“The players we try and recruit learn how to be successful managing their time on and off the field, all while minimizing distractions,” Anderson said. “We want every person that comes through our program to leave it a better person. We try to establish our core values and a way of looking at life so you can handle the challenges that life throws at you.”

Anderson has put his all into making the women’s soccer program as successful as it has been and continues to be. His passion comes from doing anything he can to help his players be their best and succeed.WSOC vs Seattle U 9-26-15-5802

“When players use the tools you’ve given them to elevate their game and become better, it’s a very rewarding feeling,” Anderson said while smiling. “And of course, we all love to win the games.