Written by Kaylie Weideman. Media by Joseph Wood.
Congratulations to Coach Jeff Wardlaw (Dubs) on receiving the SLIAC Coach of the Year Award. This award is voted on by coaches of Greenville’s conference in each sport. Wardlaw led the Greenville Women’s Soccer Team to a 13-6 record with an overall conference record of 7-2. This is Wardlaw’s first time receiving this award.
Wardlaw was inspired to be the coach he is now by, “…seeing the maturity of my 18-year-old brats mature into 22-year-old women. I enjoy the combination of my passion of soccer and the counseling and mentoring of younger people, and the desire to teach my players to become well-rounded individuals.”
Wardlaw also says, “When I’m 60 years old, my win/loss record will mean nothing, but the years and years of alumni that have gone through the program and the friendships we still have is so important to me than how many Coach of the Year Awards] I win or how many games I’ve won.”
As I interviewed Wardlaw, I asked if his coaching has been any different than the previous years, and he replied,
I think after every single year you have to look back and access the positive and the negative. Do I think some things went better this year? Yeah, I do. I think this year was also a continuation of what we did three years ago, which is a complete flip and start the Greenville Way. This will be the third year of this new philosophy and new culture, and I hope this will only continue to improve. Because of this new philosophy, we’ve had players come in and strive to be the best and have been awarded [SLIAC] Newcomer of the Year the last three years, and I think that is a big accomplishment for us.”
As much as Wardlaw was excited to receive the award, he said, “It was very unexpected, it’s super nice to see that my fellow coaches in the conference nominated me and saw the rise in our program.” He also said, “Receiving this award motivates me to help this program become better and better.”
This year’s soccer season was successful because of the motivated group of young women that consistently put in hard work and had an extra push to be successful. Wardlaw mentions,
“For the 2017 season, really the most success came from the months of the summer offseason. These girls put in the effort to get in shape and come in prepared. These girls were a very focused group from the start and bought in from day one–anytime that happens the ability to overachieve has a high rate of success. Even with this very coachable group, we changed formations quite a bit, and even when things got confusing, they trusted the coaching staff in what we were doing, and I respect that a lot.”
Overall, the Greenville Women’s Soccer Team had a very successful season, Jeff Wardlaw had a successful coaching season, and their hard work was rewarded.
Congratulations to the well-deserved SLIAC Coach of the Year, Jeff Wardlaw.