Alabama soccer welcomes Wes Hart

Alabama soccer welcomes Wes Hart

The University of Alabama is excited to welcome Wes Hart, the new soccer coach. UA Athletics

Caroline Gazzara

The University of Alabama’s soccer program has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Former head coach Todd Bramble announced over a month ago that he would be stepping away from the program, and Bramble’s departure took place a few months after Assistant Coach Erwin van Bennekom left.

After the initial announcement, the soccer program was quiet. Days and weeks passed with no new coach in sight. It wasn’t until last week that Wes Hart, former assistant soccer coach at Florida State, was announced as the new head of 
the program.

“I couldn’t be more 
excited about this opportunity,” Hart said. “This last week has been a whirlwind. I kind of felt at home when I stepped on the field. I got my first chance to take a look at and meet our players and what our team is going to look like. I’m incredibly optimistic about the future of Alabama soccer.”

In less than a week, Hart has devised a plan of action to help turn the program around. Although he said he had to stop adding things to his list after page six, he’s in full motion to get started. Over the weekend, he was recruiting in San Diego, California, and on Monday, he was back on the pitch, practicing with his new team in the rain.

Hart, who has only met with the team twice since his initial announcement, said it’s going to be a 
day-by-day process, and that’s what he is focusing on now.

“I don’t know if there’s one thing that needed [improvement]; I think it’s going to be a culmination of things,” Hart said. “It’s going to be a process. It’s going to take time to yield results.”

Hart said he has incredibly high expectations and expects nothing but the best from his players. He said he is a “player’s coach” and plans to use his knowledge in both playing and coaching to create a solid program.

“I’ve got high standards and I’m not going to drop them,” he said. “They’re going to need to raise their level of expectations enough to 
coincide with my own.”

Hart coached the FSU Seminoles to both the 2013 and 2014 NCAA championships, winning the 2014 championship. He played for the Colorado Rapids from 2000 to 2003 and then for the San Jose Earthquakes from 2003 to 2005. Hart also coached the Colorado Rush from 2006 to 2012.

Hart said he is on the hunt for a second assistant coach. Jerrod Roh, who joined last season, was the lone remaining coach from the 2014-15 season and will continue into next season with Hart.