Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – Former Elms College women's soccer assistant coach Mike Wysocki has been chosen to take over the helm of the Men's Soccer program, announced by Elms College Director of Athletics Ellen McEwen. Wysocki assumes his first head coaching position after serving as an assistant for the women's soccer team for the last four seasons, featuring four straight appearances in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship match and a 2016 NECC Championship crown.
"I'm really excited, and I want to thank Ellen [McEwen] for this tremendous opportunity that I've been working towards," said Wysocki. "We have a good chance to be successful right away, the guys are a good group and there's a lot of talent coming back and from the group coming in."
Wysocki joined Women's Soccer head coach Sean Milbier in his first season at Elms in 2013, and has contributed to the team's successes both on and off the field. Over his four years, Wysocki has assisted the team during its journey to notable achievements including an all-time Women's Soccer program record for wins in a season with an 18-4-1 mark in 2016, and a first-ever bid to the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Championship. Wysocki has helped numerous Blazers earn selections to NECC All-Conference teams in each of his seasons, and has contributed to a 56-28-5 overall record in his time at the Elms.
Prior to joining Elms College, Wysocki played two years of Division I soccer at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York from 2009 to 2011. In the fall of 2011, he transferred to Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he contributed to a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship title in his first season as a Golden Bear. He graduated from Western New England in 2013 with his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and proceeded to earn his Juris Doctor with a concentration in Business Law from the Western New England University School of Law in 2016. Wysocki holds a USSF National "D" Coaching License and resides in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Q&A with Men's Soccer Head Coach Mike Wysocki
On familiarity with the Elms program: "There's two sides to it. On one end, I know of the guys, generally where they play and interactions in passing on campus, but at the same time, I don't know 'who' they are. I've only seen them play a handfuls of games over the past few seasons, so it's a good opportunity to come into preseason with a clean slate and an open mind."
On changes from the women's game to the men's game: "It will be a little more physical now. Obviously, our women's squad is tough as nails no doubt, but the men's game will be a little bit faster, bigger, and stronger. One thing we did really well on the women's side was create that atmosphere of discipline, commitment and dedication where they were switched on and focused for 90 minutes. That will be a challenge to the guys to get on the same page over the course of the season."
Key attributes you want to bring to the men's team from the women's team: "The first thing that comes to mind is the mentality. Over my four years with the women's team, we build a mentality, especially last season, that we were results driven. We weren't satisfied with draws or losses, we went out expecting to win every game. Another thing would be the preparation, getting these guys physically, mentally and emotionally prepared for every kickoff and providing everything they need to be successful."
What players can expect from you as a coach: "Commitment and dedication, and it's the exact same thing I'll ask from them. I love coaching, and I feel it's something I was born to do, so I'm going to give my all to them. I want to make sure everything I do sets them up for success. I'm here to serve them, and make their experience as a student-athlete as positive as possible. Of course, I'll ask the same of the team. When they come in here during the two hours of training or 90 minutes of gameplay, they need to be focus on the task at hand and leave the off-the-field problems off the field.
One of the main things learned under Women's Soccer Head Coach Sean Milbier: "The main thing I learned from Sean was not to be afraid to be a friend to your players. Sean has a great understanding of who his players are as people, and connects with them on a different level. Once you get to that level, the players will play at another level, they will run through a brick wall for you. When they know you care about them, you can get into them on a bad day, but at the end of the day, they know you have their well-being at heart, and that relationship translates on game day when you have 25 players battling for you.