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Westmont Rolls Out a New Game Plan for Soccer

Changes in the coaching staff are designed to lead to a better collaborative process.

Don’t expect the moniker “Westmont United” to be applied anytime soon, but changes in the coaching staff have provided an opportunity for a different approach to the school’s soccer programs. Dave Wolf, who has served as the men’s head coach since 1991, has been named the director of soccer and this coming season will serve as the head coach for the men’s and women’s programs.

With responsibilities for both programs, Wolf intends to rely heavily on the efforts of his combined coaching staff.

“The word that comes to my mind immediately is collaboration,” Wolf said. “What the college has supported us in doing is putting together a soccer staff that will enable us to accomplish all of the different tasks that will be required. The working out of that plan will be very much a daily endeavor.”

Three new assistant coaches will contribute to the collaborative process this fall, in addition to three returning assistants. Dana Weymouth, who graduated from Westmont in 2003, serves as the primary assistant coach for the men’s program. While a student-athlete at Westmont, Weymouth served as the boy’s soccer head coach at Bishop Diego High School for two years, and one year as the Santa Barbara High School girls JV coach.

“I see Dana, who was a very good striker when he played here, making a contribution to those particular players and the attacking third of the field,” Wolf said. “I think he is going to be a real good partner in coaching, which is stylistically the way I like to do it. I like someone to share the conversation with, and I think he will be great in that way.”

After two years of Peace Corps service in Mauritania, Weymouth returned to Santa Barbara and began a three-year coaching stint with the Santa Barbara Soccer Club. He also returned to the Santa Barbara High School campus, where he has served as head coach of the varsity girls team since the 2006 season. In the college ranks, Weymouth has been the assistant men’s coach at Santa Barbara City for the past two seasons and the assistant women’s coach last year.

“Dana’s experiences at Santa Barbara High School, and also the local club team, have allowed him to be around some really great coaches,” Wolf said. “When I talked with him in the interview process, I could hear the voices of the other coaches coming out in the way he was articulating on particular coaching subjects. That will be a benefit to our program.”

Kristi (Peich) Kiely, a 2005 alumna, has signed on as the primary assistant coach for the women’s soccer team. As a student-athlete, Peich was a part of Westmont’s three national championship teams from 2001 through 2003. After graduation, Kiely tried out with the California Storm of the Women’s Premier League and has played in their development program where she has had opportunity to play with Brandi Chastain, Maureen Whitney and Sissi.

“I had dinner recently with Mike Gulliano,” said Wolf, referring to the Westmont women’s soccer coach from 1993-2002. “When I asked him about Kristi, Mike said unequivocally that she was the most mature, soccer savvy player he ever coached. That was a powerful statement from a very successful coach about a player who was a three-time team MVP.”

“It is such an honor to be back in a program that I am very passionate about,” Kiely said. “I’m excited to be able to give back and to be a part of taking the team to a national championship level. I hope to serve as a good leader and role model both on and off the field. I want to be a resource for the players and pour into them the benefits of my experiences on national championship teams and at high levels of soccer.”
                 
“Kristi brings a significant amount of personal playing experience and success as a player,” Wolf said. “She brings some real intangibles in the leadership and maturity categories and I am very confident that she will bring a lot of expertise to her role as a coach. She also brings a real deep connection to the heritage of Westmont women’s soccer.”

Also joining the coaching staff this season is former Westmont player Marco Ybarra, who will serve as the goalkeeper coach for the men’s and women’s programs.

“Marco comes from a prestigious Santa Barbara soccer family,” Wolf said. “The Ybarra family embodies Santa Barbara soccer. Marco provides a wonderful connection to the community and the history of soccer in this town of which Marco’s father, Rudy, is the centerpiece. Marco played for me here at Westmont, and he is a unique coaching talent in the sense that he was both a very good field player as well as a very good goalkeeper. That is a very odd mix of talents, but it speaks to his talents and abilities as a coach. I think he will do a wonderful job of jumping back and forth between the two programs and impacting the four goalkeepers that we have.”

Filling out the coaching roster are three returning coaches, Dan Ribbens, Johan Frisell and T.J. McKillop. Ribbens will continue his role as an assistant coach with the women’s team, a roll in which he has served since 2003, except for one year as the interim head coach in 2004.

“In some ways, Dan is the perfect complement to our coaching staff and this new direction, having both played and coached at Westmont,” Wolf said. “Dan has contributed to Westmont Soccer, both men’s and women’s, for many years with his deep knowledge of the game and his passion for Christ centered college athletics. He is a servant in the truest sense of the word.”

Frisel and McKillop are returning to help with the men’s team. Frisell played for the Warriors from 1993-96 and McKillop from 2001-05.

“It is T.J.‘s second year with the program,” Wolf said. “He was a team captain here at Westmont. One of the things that I think is neat about all of the coaches is that they all played here. I love the fact that the Westmont soccer family is coming back and reinvesting in the current players. That is what T.J. is about. He wants to invest his life in the lives of the guys (on the team). It speaks to his own experience and the value he took with him. T.J. was a very tough and uncompromising central defender. Anytime you have a chance to instill that in your current crop of players, you want to do that. 

“T.J. and Johan both bring that to the program,” Wolf continued. “Those are a couple of very tough customers. Even today when they play with the guys it’s a ‘take no prisoners’ style of soccer. But it is also a style of soccer that upholds that integrity of Westmont Athletics. They are the kind of competitors we love to coach and we love having on our coaching staff.”

Ron Smith is Westmont’s sports information director.

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