Sports

Yon Struble set to head soccer

After the resignation of previous five-year head coach Sue Willard in December, the Director of Carnegie Mellon University Athletics Susan Bassett hired Yon Struble as head coach for the women’s soccer program, effective March 1.

“I’m incredibly excited to be the next head women’s soccer coach at Carnegie Mellon University,” said Struble. “The combination of academics and athletics encapsulate what I feel the college experience should be about, and I am honored to have been given this opportunity.”

Struble, a United States Soccer Federation “A” licensed coach, comes from the Division I women’s soccer program at Western Carolina University, where he was assistant coach. He helped lead the Catamounts to their fifthstraight winning season and fifth consecutive Team Academic Award by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Serving as the recruiting coordinator, youth camp director, technical director for team training, and goalkeeper trainer, Struble can bring his expertise to the Tartans team.

“Yon Struble brings impressive credentials, including national recognition as the 2008 National Girls Coach of the Year, to lead the Tartan women’s soccer program,” said Bassett.

“He has coached collegiately at the Division I and III level, and most importantly, sees himself as an educator first and foremost. I am confident that Yon will provide exceptional leadership for our women’s soccer program and that under his guidance we will grow in important ways. He will be an asset to our department, Carnegie Mellon, and the Greater Pittsburgh community.”

Prior to his time at Western Carolina, Struble coached several elite teams at Norcross Soccer Academy, Georgia State University, Georgia Olympic Development Program (ODP), Union College, and eastern New York ODP. In 2008, Struble was awarded United States Youth Soccer National Girls Competitive Coach of the Year, and in 2007, he was awarded the ODP Georgia Coach of the Year and Region III Coach of the Year, leading to his National Coach of the Year Award.

With the athletics department’s support, the current women’s squad was able to interview potential candidates for the head coach position, and it came to the unanimous decision that Struble would be a great fit.

A rising senior for next season, Caroline Danka commented on the new arrival: “Our whole team is ecstatic about Coach Struble taking the position. We’re a very open and honest team with a lot of passion for soccer, and he has reflected every bit of our excitement for the upcoming season. The athletic department knows we’re a competitive team and really worked to find us someone with experience and personality we respect, and who also mimics our drive. Ask any girl on the team about Coach, she’ll light up!”

Struble graduated from Division I Stetson University with a degree in elementary education in 1995, while playing collegiate soccer for The Hatter. He also received a master of arts in reading education in 2005 while at Georgia State.

After graduation from Stetson, Struble went off to compete in the Empire State Games, leading the men’s open team to the 1996 gold medal.
He played professionally for the New York Capital District Alleycats of the USISL from 1997 to 1999.

“I want to thank Susan Bassett, the Tartan athletic staff and the school administration for having the confidence in my ability to lead [the] Tartan women’s soccer program in a new direction,” Struble concluded. “I know with their support we can lead the program to new heights in the UAA and at the national level.”