posted 2012-10-05 22:58:12

Men’s Soccer Kicks Off the Season with a New Coach

Coach Brooks Paskett leads the Hawks into the 2012 season 

Christian Davies

Sports Editor

After seven seasons under the guidance of former head coach Jose Cedeno, the Hunter men’s soccer team took the field in 2012 under longtime assistant, and new head coach, Brooks Paskett.

Paskett was officially named Hunter’s new coach on February 29th of this year. Upon the hiring, Hunter Director of Athetics Terry Wansart said, “After discussing the future of soccer at Hunter College in great detail with him, I believe that Coach Paskett is the best person for our head soccer coach. He has seen our team go through the building phases to competitive success and I am confident Hunter can continue to produce a quality soccer program with his leadership.”

In return, Paskett said, “I’d like to thank [. . .] Terry Wansart for this phenomenal opportunity. I’m excited about continuing the winning legacy here at Hunter that we developed under [. . .] Jose Cedeno. I believe this is a great opportunity to develop my own signature style of coaching while strengthening our soccer program for the future. We have a great group of returning student athletes and I’m highly motivated to get some new recruits to get the season rolling in 2012-13.”

Regarding his transition from assistant coach to head coach, Paskett said, “It has been good since the athletes are very respectful and have made it mostly seamless. I have added some great coaches to work with me that have brought a lot of experience and focus which helps a lot.”

Paskett, a native of Riverton, Wyoming, came to New York originally to work as an assistant coach on the NYU women’s soccer team. “I originally moved to New York to be the assistant coach at NYU,” he said. “I have stayed because of the diversity and opportunities I have found.”

When asked how he’s adjusted to big city life after his rural upbringing, Paskett was quick to point out that life in Wyoming wasn’t as laid back as it might be imagined. “Believe it or not, I was almost just as busy,” Paskett said via email. “I was on the board of directors of the Wind River Heritage Center, in Toastmasters International, either coaching Central Wyoming College in the fall or a travel youth soccer team in the spring while working full time for an architectural firm.”

Paskett has always had a knack for balancing a busy schedule. At Riverton High School, he was all-state in both football and soccer while also maintaining his studies. After high school, he went on to kick for one year on the Chadron State College football team before moving on to the University of Wyoming to follow his growing passion for architectural engineering.

In an earlier interview with The Ranger, a daily newspaper in Fremont County, Wyoming, Paskett said, “I realized that the degree I wanted was offered at the University of Wyoming. I went to UW to study architectural engineering, and that got me on track to doing what I do now, which is overseeing [construction sites] from the contractor’s standpoint.”

Unlike many big-contract, big-school coaches in Division I, most Division III coaches, including Paskett, have to maintain the same hectic life of a coach while also working a full-time job elsewhere. Presently, Paskett works for a company in midtown Manhattan called ABR Builders while also volunteering as a soccer instructor for Project Happy, an organization that provides sports teams and recreational activities to youth and young adults with disabilities. He also still finds time to play soccer himself as a member of the Long Island Soccer Football League.

Despite all of his responsibilities, Paskett continues to speak about his goals for the men’s soccer team with focus and clarity. “The collective team goal is to win the CUNYAC Championship and play our best in the first round of the NCAA Tournament,” he said. As far as which factors will aid the team in getting to where they want to go, Paskett added, “the team chemistry is very important and growth from each practice and game.”

In a daunting non-conference and conference schedule, it won’t be easy for the Hawks. Already having suffered tough losses to schools such as Montclair State and #10 NYU, they are 1-7-2 out of the gate. However, their play has improved in the past week; their record over their last four games is 1-1-2 with the only loss coming to a deeply talented NYU squad. But with a team that features just five upperclassmen as compared to sixteen underclassmen, learning curves are to be expected. As the young players learn Coach Paskett’s system, the men’s soccer team will do nothing but get better. And hopefully, under Coach Paskett, there is a system in place that will keep them that way for years to come.