Indiana Daily Student

Glass: Yeagley chosen for charisma, experience

After spending only one year away from Bloomington, Todd Yeagley has a chance now to run the program his father built.

Although former coach Mike Freitag took the team to the third round in this year's NCAA tournament, Athletics Director Fred Glass was not happy with the program's direction. On Friday, Glass announced that Yeagley, formerly the head coach at Wisconsin, would take the reins.

Glass talked with IDS men's soccer beat reporter Stephanie Kuzydym about his first hire and what it means for IU soccer's future.

IDS: What made Yeagley the best candidate for the job?

Glass: First thing I would say is all three of the candidates that we talked to were excellent. I think any of them would have been a great coach at Indiana University, but I think the choice of Todd really came down to, first of all, just his presence, his charisma, if you will. I was very impressed during our conversation … with how he carried himself and what he had to say and how he said it. I think that’s reflected in how good of a recruiter he is and the impression he makes on prospective student athletes and their parents.  That was important, the coaching experience. Even though he was a young coach and compared to some of the other coaches, he definitely has less coaching experience, I thought his experience at IU was important. I thought his turn around of Wisconsin in one year was important. They were 1-4-1 in the Big Ten the year before he got there, they were 3-3 his first year.

They beat three Big Ten teams that we, IU, did not beat, and also I think he’s widely recognized as one of the hot young coaches in America, if you will. He was one of the top-12 assistant coaches in the country, as named by a college soccer magazine, so that was important. I think his familiarity with the Big Ten conference was important - that he played in it and that he coaches in it.

I mean, he was excellent as a player. He was really pretty extraordinary. I mean, the guy was a four-time All-American. He was a National Player of the Year. He played in the pros for seven years, and I think that’s not only important to demonstrate his personal excellence, but to meet the kind of experience when he’s going after the elite kids in recruiting to say, "Hey, I’ve been there. I know what it takes. I can help you get there." I think that’s really important. So when you take all of that together, he just rose to the top, to me, among the three candidates that we brought on campus.

IDS: So his background had a lot to do with it, but did his last name have anything to do with it?

Well, I’m not sure you could ever factor that out for good or for not, but I did try to do that and take his accomplishments and abilities independent of the legacy of his dad. I believe we did that, but you know he’s probably, in some ways, the great coach and player he is today because of who his dad is, so in some ways it’s kind of folly to try and separate those out. I think me and the advisory committees, to the greatest extent possible, tried to do that.

IDS: What did you tell Yeagley about what he needs to change about the program to get it to where it needs to be?

Glass: When Chris (Reynolds; Senior Associate Athletics Director) interviewed the players, he asked them the characteristics they wanted in a head coach. He and I sat down and went through all those and consolidated those into about seven or eight characteristics with some sub-characteristics to try to profile what we felt the program needed, because what we wanted to do when we went after the coach was not have it come down to personalities but more kind of characteristics that we wanted. I think by hiring the person that we wanted, he’ll bring the program the change that we need. So I’m not going to X and O him and tell him he needs to play this kind of style or that kind of style or he needs to hire this assistant or that assistant. It will be his program to run. I believe by hiring the person that we think provides that leadership, he’ll take us where we need to go. I’m not going to tell him how to do it exactly.

IDS: What does the future of IU soccer look like?

Glass: I’m really excited going forward. I think we definitely got the right guy. I think that murmuring sound you hear around the country are other soccer programs around the country saying ‘Uh-oh, looks like Indiana is going back to where they’ve been – an elite program.’ I think Todd will get to work right away. That’s part of the reason we wanted to make the process go quickly and make our selection as early as possible. So I think Todd will hit the ground running, as they say, and start getting us going in the direction that we need to be going.

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