New soccer coach hired

by Shara Tibken

Mike Wilson, a Simpson alumnus, was recently hired as the new men’s soccer coach.

“I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t want to coach there,” Wilson said. “It’s an excellent institution for one and now I’m a part of it. “

Wilson signed his contract March 9. The college hired him following the recent resignation of the previous head soccer coach, Aziz Haffar.

“We’re really, really excited to have Mike here,” said Ron Peterson, assistant athletic director and wrestling coach. “He’s a first-class person and had some great experiences.”

Members of the Athletic Department say they are pleased about Wilson’s hiring and are confident in his abilities.

“His energy level is extremely high,” said John Sirianni, director of athletics and baseball coach.

Wilson is currently the assistant men’s soccer coach and head coach of men’s junior varsity soccer at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

“His enthusiasm is contagious, and we feel that [because of] his history and his experiences at Simpson and his experiences at Gustavus combined with his personality, enthusiasm, knowledge, character and all that kind of stuff, that he’s the perfect person for this job,” Sirianni said.

Wilson played soccer all four years at Simpson. He was named to the IIAC first-team all-conference every year from 1996-99, the only time in men’s soccer history that this has happened.

“He was very successful as a student-athlete here,” Sirianni said. “He was here at the height of program’s success.”

Wilson graduated from Simpson in 2000 with a degree in sports management and expects to complete his Master’s Degree in Sports Management from Minnesota State University-Mankato this spring.

After reading about the open coaching position, Wilson applied and came to campus for an interview. He also met with members of the search committee.

“He was just so well-prepared, and he just knew so much about our program,” junior co-captain Charlie Petersen said. “He already has a plan set for us.”

Wilson said he is optimistic about the program.

“First of all, the program is in great order,” Wilson said. “My vision is that we’ll be back in the top three in the conference, and I think with the players that we have returning that it’s a very, very reachable goal.”