Max Watson has enjoyed great success coaching soccer in his previous stops. He’ll face some long odds in reproducing it in his newest job.
The former Mountain View High School coach was named head coach of the VMI men’s soccer team on Monday after serving as an assistant there last fall.
Watson will lead a program that has struggled mightily in recent seasons. The Keydets went 1–16 last fall under coach Charlie Hubbard and are 2–84–3 since 2015. They’ve lost 52 straight Southern Conference games since 2014.
That’s the challenge for Watson, who led Mountain View’s boys to a 17–4–1 record, the Commonwealth District championship and a berth in the Class 5 state quarterfinals in his only season as their head coach, in 2018. He also served as an assistant for the University of Mary Washington men’s team from 2015–18, during which time the Eagles went 41–15–3 and won the first of three straight Capital Athletic Conference titles.
“We executed a comprehensive search, and were gratified to have current NCAA head coaches and other highly accomplished assistant coaches express interest in our opportunity,” VMI athletic director Dr. Dave Diles said in a statement. “However, Max articulated a compelling vision for VMI men’s soccer. His message, excitement for the task and commitment to the long-term positioning of the program set him apart. I have full trust in his leadership.”
Watson was a defensive midfielder at Franklin & Marshall (Pa.) College from 2011–14, helping the Diplomats earn two NCAA Division IIII tournament bids.
His expected roster for the fall 2020 season includes two former local standouts: rising senior defender Richard Quispe (Brooke Point) and rising junior defender Brandon Hornung (Riverbend).
Apprentice junior Kolin Johnson (King George) was two victories away from a national title when the school withdrew from the recent National College Wrestling Association tournament because of coronavirus concerns.
Johnson was the top seed at 133 pounds and had reached the semifinals in Allen, Texas, when the Builders decided to leave early. He was charged with two forfeit losses and officially finished sixth. He finished with a 33–6 season record.
Two former Brooke Point standouts—freshman Alec Deutel (165) and sophomore John Pierce (235)—also competed at for nationals.
VCU senior Jordan Rasure (Chancellor), Ohio University’s Annmarie Hoppel (Courtland) and Delaware’s Emily Kresho (Stafford) were named National Field Hockey Coaches Association Scholars of Distinction, which requires a 3.9 grade-point average for the 2019–20 fall semester.