Coach’s Corner: Nick Cowell

Yenifes Trochez

St. Edward’s University’s Athletic Department hires coaches from a wide variety of backgrounds. The Coach’s Corner offers an in-depth look at the background of our coaching staff.

Q: You have been named Heartland Conference Coach of the Year and South Central Region Coach of the Year while leading your team to countless awards and wins. What is your most satisfying reward as the St. Edward’s University Women’s Head Soccer Coach?

A: (The) most satisfying thing is probably seeing what my players do with their lives after they graduate. I have been a head coach now for 20 years, and the wins and losses to a certain extent show that there’s got to be more to it than that. If it were just wins and losses, it would get boring. It is more the relationships with the players and seeing how they are successful after they graduate.

Q: What do you stress to the women soccer players that leads them to become successful on the field?

A: I think there are two main things that we talk about: one is team chemistry, because without team chemistry it is hard for the team to do well. So we’ll spend a lot of time doing activities that encourage people to help one another. Whether you’re a player or substitute. We try to make sure there is respect regardless of the role and support one another in that role. The second thing would be leadership; it is needed to be successful. I spend three or four months before the season with our upcoming senior class. I’ll spend a lot of time talking to them about leadership and what’s expected. I try to teach them to become better leaders. The female athletes that I have had to deal or work with in the past, many girls find it hard to be vocal, so I try to allow them to find their voice. Team chemistry and leadership is what we talk about the most to be successful on the field.

Q: You have coached for numerous universities, including: The College of Wooster (1989–1990), Trinity University (1991–1998), Baylor University (1999–2002), Sewanee (2003–05) and St. Edward’s (2006-current). What is different about St. Edward’s, and what do you love the most about being here?

A: Most of the schools that I’ve coached at have been private institutions with a church affiliation. St. Edward’s fits into the schools that I’ve been a part of in the past. St. Edward’s is different because of its classification as a Division II school. St. Edward’s allows us to have a very competitive soccer program. Division II philosophy is a balance between athletics and academics. Our team has done really well in academics. Our average GPA is 3.54, so that is an amazing achievement. It’s the balance that is a big difference and the most rewarding thing for me.

Q: You have coached the women soccer players to become successful athletes; do you believe that what you teach them on the field also helps them become successful in academics and life?

A: I would hope so. I think that in all honesty it is that we recruit players that we feel can be successful in the first place. We try not to recruit marginal academic students. The population we are dealing with would be good academically even without soccer. A part of being in a team sport, there is a lot of positive peer pressure to do well. For example if our team is traveling, 90 percent of the team is studying, then you’re probably going to study too. There is that peer pressure to make sure you’re doing well. I think it’s important to note that it’s beneficial to work with a team.