Over the summer, Nick Chapman was announced as the tenth head coach in Beloit College women’s soccer history and the replacement of Liz Bartley, previous head coach of seven seasons.
As a former four-year letter winner on the George Fox University men’s soccer team, the values of Division III athletics hit close to home for Chapman. “[Division III] brings out the true essence of athletics,” he said. “Students aren’t motivated by scholarships…the students who play genuinely love the sport. They enjoy doing it in their life. They work hard.”
This ability to relate to his athletes is evident in his practices and coaching styles, according to goalkeeper Alex Spirov’15.
“Our needs are really met as far as being good about taking care of yourself after practice. Physically, academically, or emotionally, he takes into account all of those aspects. He takes into consideration how we need to balance all aspects of our lives,” Spirov says.
Chapman’s coaching philosophy can be summarized in one phrase: be a person for others. He describes this as a philosophy that can be utilized on and off the field.
“If you’re on the field, what are you doing to help out your teammate; if I don’t have the ball, how can I help the person who does. On the bench, too, my entire program revolves around being a person for others,” he explains. “That extends to off the field as well. In the community, are my players being self-serving or otherwise? That answer is the essence of what I try to coach them.”
Many coaches would shy away from taking over a struggling program, but this challenge is nothing new to Chapman.
“I’ve done something similar at three other schools. It’s all about growing the program and getting it going. More players, more excitement… I’m looking forward to really establishing a strong, competitive program,” he says.
Chapman’s duties rebuilding the Buccaneers women’s soccer program began the week of Aug. 5, and he feels strongly about the progress already made.
“I’m just really anxious to see how we end up…regardless, I’m excited about the opportunities that are given here for athletes and I’m looking forward to seeing how the program will shape. Hopefully we’ll make a run for the conference tournament,” says Chapman.
Spirov commends Chapman’s enthusiasm toward the rehabilitation of their team and echoes his hopeful sentiment.
“We’ve struggled with numbers, but he has still found ways to make practices efficient and effective. He has really good energy and is working with what he has the best way possible,” she says. “There’s a lot of hope for this season… and I wish I was here longer to see how [the program] grows.”
The next opportunity to catch Coach Chapman in action will be this Friday (Sept. 13) when the Bucs host Edgewood College at Strong Field. Play begins at 4:30 p.m.