By ASHTON FERNEYHOUGH
Prior to becoming the head coach, the University of Mary Washington’s women’s soccer head coach, Corey Hewson was an assistant coach for the program for seven years. He began coaching the program in 2008 and in 2010 was named CACs co-coach of the year after leading the program to a CAC title. Hewson has been the head women’s soccer coach for eight seasons and has compiled an impressive 82-52-22 career record.
Q: How do you feel about the end of last season?
A: Obviously it was a bit disappointing losing the CAC Championship on our home field with less than 90 seconds to play – that still sits a bit heavy. With that said, I was extremely proud of the team as a whole. The upperclassmen provided strong leadership to a young team down the stretch when it mattered most. It was wonderful to see the younger members of the program step up as well – they seemed to grow more mature as student-athletes with each match we played.
Q: What are you hopes/what are you expecting to happen differently for this upcoming season?
A: Our expectations are to pick up right where we left off. We will have a lot more experience in difficult matches, and that make a huge difference. Having an entire team that understands the pressure, but can stand up to it at the same time is a quality characteristic of a winning team. For the past two years we have played for the conference championship. Just the other day at training we discussed how we overcame the hump of playing in the semi finals for three years in a row and now we need to make a bigger push as a unit to get over hump of just playing in the championship and win the whole enchilada.
Q: What is your offseason workouts like? Do they differentiate from in-season workouts?
A: Our biggest part of the off-season is getting three sessions a week with our strength and condition coach. The man- the myth –the legend – Coach George Greene. They will continue to make monumental strides under George’s direction. The offseason is really time for each student- athlete to reflect on the past season and focus on what they need to improve on. I believe that the offseason is geared more to the individual while are in season workouts are tailored more towards the development of the program as a whole.
Q: What do you guys focus on in the offseason?
A: Before we start our official non-traditional season training sessions (see above) the team is working with George three days a week. In addition, many of the members of the program are working on individual fitness in the fitness center and out at the Battleground doing speed work and working on conditioning.
Q: What was your playing career like (if you had one)?
A: I played one year of college ball at the Virginia Military Institute and then transferred to Shippensburg University and finished out with three productive years of soccer there.
Q: What brought you to Mary Washington? What has your tenure been like?
A: I initially came to Fredericksburg to teach high school at Spotsylvania HS. I decided to make a call to MWC to see if the men’s team was looking for any help. The men’s coach at the time said they were all set so I called Kurt Glaeser, who was the women’s soccer coach at the time. I worked with Kurt for seven years as an assistant and then had the opportunity to take over as head coach in 2008. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the ups and downs of college coaching. Through the challenges I have looked to make adjustments to continue to grow as a person, a professional and a leader. This has been a wonderful place to teach and coach.
Q: Do you try and model your coaching career after someone else?
A: I do not try to model my coaching after one person. I was once told that to be a great coach – you have to be a thief. I understood that to mean, you have to take a little bit of knowledge and best practices from anywhere you can find it – and then make it your own. I would like to think that I have taken a little bit of everyone along the way.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence here or in the coaching world?
A: My biggest influence has had to be my wife. By sheer chance she found her way to Mary Washington College in 1996 and God led her to me in 2001. She has taught me to be patient, understanding and caring. She has shown me how to look through what is obvious and on the surface in order to find what is hidden beneath, to reveal the true spirit of a person. She is my sounding board after each triumph and defeat, patiently listening to each facet of a training session or match, offering her little pearls of wisdom that sometime make little sense at the time, however through reflection – can open my eyes to so much more. None of this is would have ever been possible without her.
Q: What is your definition of selflessness? Does your team follow your definition?
A:Selflessness is putting something bigger than yourself first. As young adults they work tirelessly to better themselves everyday – it is hard to judge people going through the educational experience – everyone approaches learning differently. It is the end product that I am looking for.
Q:Anything you would like to add?
A: I received a call from a job recruiter this yesterday evening. As he asked questions about the qualifications of the job candidate he asked if I had anything to add. I responded by saying this. “I have not worked with a finer individual. She has a tremendous work ethic and a silent leader who works to make everyone around her a better person. By definition, she is the a true Mary Washington student-athlete.”