Willamette hires former D-I player
Willamette athletics photo
Willamette has hired former Oregon State player Lloyd Fobi as the head men's soccer coach for the Bearcats, athletic director Mark Majeski announced. Fobi will begin his duties as head coach immediately.
Fobi has been an assistant men's soccer coach at nearby Corban, also in Salem, Ore., for the past year and a half. He also has coached with the Oregon Olympic Development Program.
He replaces Nelson Larson, whose team went 3-13-3 this past season, 1-11-2 in the Northwest Conference. Larson resigned earlier this spring after five seasons as the head coach.
"I always wanted to find an opportunity where I could express myself as a coach ... a program that is hungry to grow," Fobi said. "I've lived in Salem for four years and I've always had an eye on Willamette .. when it opened up, I was eager and willing to jump on it."
Majeski said that Fobi was a great choice to develop the Willamette men's soccer team.
"Lloyd is extremely excited and will bring energy, enthusiasm, discipline and a work ethic to the men's soccer program to build upon what Nelson Larson started," Majeski commented.
As a college player, Fobi competed for Oregon State. He played on two teams that were nationally ranked (2003, 2005) and helped the Beavers qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 2003.
"It's a different angle looking at the game from a coach's perspective ... you have to look at it from the whole picture, what the final goal will be and how to get there. How do you build each day to get to that? My experience at Corban has really been seeing how you develop a team .. understanding that blueprint for success that is needed in building a program."
Fobi hopes to continue the progress Willamette has made in recent years, while adding his own approach to the game.
"We will be redefining who we are ... defining again who we are," Fobi said. "And that comes form hard work, both from the coaches' side and from the players' side. Putting high demands on both the players and myself in attaining those goals."
In working to maximize the team's performance, Fobi plans to stress several factors to guide how his team practices and plays.
"Being a team ... you have to believe in each other and you have to bleed for each other, on and off the field," Fobi said.
He wants to build a a team that works hard and sets high goals and standards.
"Our goal is to be the best team in our conference," Fobi said. "We will be a blue collar team, that is what we have to be to reach our goals. It's how you carry yourself ... it's working hard, but working smart. Learning how to work smart is something that is very important. It reduces the amount of hard work you have to do.
"It (working smart) is one of the four pillars around which this program must be built," Fobi continued. Other pillars are that the quality of the person is high, the quality of the student is high and the quality of the athlete is high."