POULTNEY— Green Mountain College Director of Athletics Kip Shipley was pleased to announce the hiring of Chris George as the new men’s soccer head coach, Friday. George takes over as the seventh coach in the program’s 38-year history.
George, who was hired as Shipley’s assistant women’s coach in the fall of 2017, will maintain his responsibilities with the women’s program as well as taking on compliance coordinator duties as GMC shifts to its new conference affiliation with the Northeastern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (NIAC) in 2018-2019.
With George as part of the women’s soccer staff last season, the program posted a record of 5-9-1, its best record since the 2009 season. GMC also earned the most points within conference play since the 2011 season. The Eagles scored 27 goals which ranked them third most since the college moved to the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) in 2008. Freshman forward Maya Golowasch ranked fifth in the NAC in goals scored (12) while freshman goalie Jessica Casey led the conference in saves (154).
With his work on the recruiting front, the women’s team is poised to bring in one of its most bountiful incoming classes in nearly a decade to help build on the growth the team achieved this past season.
“Chris has already proven to be a valuable recruiting asset for Green Mountain College,” stated Shipley. “He has extensive knowledge of the players here in Vermont. As interim men’s soccer coach he has increased our applicant pool for the men’s program and he continues to bring in outstanding women players. However, being an alumnus of GMC he understands and believes in the mission of GMC which could be his greatest recruiting tool as he aims for student-athletes that are vested in the mission and can play sports at the collegiate level.”
The men’s program will certainly benefit from George’s discerning eye for talent. The Eagles have struggled since the athletic department abandoned its attempt to become a NCAA Division II affiliate in the mid-2000s and have failed to win more than three games since the team became a full NCAA Division III member in 2008.
One of George’s lofty goals will be to build the roster back up to its previous talent level which came when the College was a member of the NAIA. During those years, Green Mountain was a perennial powerhouse, routinely winning its conference championship and featuring prominently within Region X postseason play.
Achieving that goal will certainly come with an increased effort to recruit internationally and bring a greater deal of diversity to the pitch.
“We’re working hard to build relationships with top clubs to help identify student-athletes who are believers in GMC’s Sustainability mission,” related George. “The ideal student-athlete will be a great asset on the field and contribute in positive ways to our tight-knit community and help elevate diversity of thought on campus.”
Another important goal will be re-engaging the soccer alumni base to establish positive relationships within GMC’s own soccer community.
“In the short time I’ve been working with the men’s team, the outpouring of support from my peer alumni has been humbling,” noted George. “We’ve got a huge community of former players invested in the success of these young men as we build the program again. We’re planning a men’s soccer reunion to coincide with GMC’s class reunion June 22-24 and are hoping to have an all-alumni game as part of the festivities.”