After 11 seasons as the CU women’s soccer head coach, Bill Hempen unexpectedly decided to step down from his position at a press conference Wednesday night.
“After a very challenging season, I’ve had plenty of time to do some soul searching, consider where we are with the program and what direction we were headed in the future,” Hempen said at the conference with the Sports Information Department.
“Although I feel confident in my time here that we have made great strides in making Colorado soccer a nationally recognized program, the jump to the Pac-12 was a significant increase in competition,” Hempen said. “I believe recruiting was on the up-swing to be able to get the program to the level to challenge in the Pac-12, but it might just be the time for someone else to take the reins.”
Joining the Pac-12 was very difficult for the Buffs this past year, their conference record being 1-9-1 and tying for 11th with Arizona.
Head coach Bill Hempen hugs senior Maggi Steury after an emotional speech about how much of an influence she had by being a player after the Oct. 30 game against USC. (CU Independent/Amy Leder)
The team was a talented group of girls, but getting the final results and finding the back of the net became an incredible struggle for them.
This struggle was evident during my interviews with Coach Hempen, as well as his demeanor on the sidelines. A lot of times he would put his head in his hands while on the bench and whisper to his assistants.
After the 8-0 loss to UCLA on October 28th, everyone left the bench area at Prentup Field, except Hempen, who sat on the bench by himself contemplating the loss.
But through the long struggle of this season, Hempen was able to keep his composure. With an overall record of 114-88-28 and guiding the Buffs to six NCCA tournament appearances as CU’s soccer coach for the last 11 years, it’s going to be hard to find an adequate replacement for Hempen. But the time has come for change, so the search is on.
“We appreciate the contributions Coach Hempen has made to the University of Colorado and our women’s soccer program, and wish Bill the best in his future endeavors,” Athletic Director Mike Bohn said. “We will commence a national search for his replacement immediately.”
In order to find the best replacement for such a great coach like Bill Hempen, Bohn created a search committee Wednesday to begin the process of replacement.
The committee consists of various CU administrators, staff and even former CU soccer player, Nikki Marshall.
Bill Hempen will be missed from the CU athletic community. Being a great coach, teacher, and person, Hempen has left a great mark at CU, but his era has now ended.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Joseph Wirth at email@example.com.
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