Following the retirement of former Weber State University women’s soccer assistant coach Tom VudhiVadhana, Mike Manning has recently been hired to fill this coaching position.

Last year, Manning served as a volunteer assistant coach.

Manning brings a lot of experience to the Wildcats’ women’s soccer team. He currently holds a United States Soccer Federation C license, which requires over 70 hours of extensive training and testing.

He has been a coach for the exclusive Utah Olympic Development Program for seven years. Manning was also a key founder of the Jr. Wildcats, a local recreation team in Ogden.

Lindsay Ortgiesen, a senior who plays midfield and defense, said she is excited about the change. She said he is a great motivator, and someone who will cheer the team on and help it to know when it is doing its best.

“He brings a very different perspective to our team,” Ortgiesen said. “Overall he is a great coach.”

Manning said he is happy for the opportunity to coach at WSU and is thankful for the chance that was given to him.

“It has been a lifelong goal of mine to be able to coach at the highest collegiate level,” Manning said.

Graduating senior Jessie Baddley said she is excited for the positive things that Manning will bring to the team.

“Not only does Mike understand the game and what is needed to succeed within the game, he also is an enjoyable guy,” Baddley said. “He knows how to balance working hard with making the game fun at the same time.”

Baddley said Manning has multiple qualities that will make him a good coach and will help the team continue to succeed.

“He is a very approachable coach who is open to any question one might come to him with,” Baddley said.

She also said Manning puts in the necessary time and effort needed to help improve each of the player’s skills and knowledge about the game.

The ‘Cats had a good season last year, almost winning the Big Sky Conference tournament, and look forward to their upcoming spring season.

Ortrgiesen said much of last season’s success came from the combination of all of the players on the team and the training change that took place.

“Our new training gives us the edge we need to be in good shape,” Ortgiesen said. “The team trains on campus with Chris Fritz at Basics.”

For the next few months, WSU will be training and preparing for next season. They have early morning lifting Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The team also has afternoon practices three times a week.

During this time, Ortgiesen said, it is important to build chemistry in preparation for the next season..

The Wildcats are also getting ready to start their 2012 spring season. They will play around eight games for the upcoming spring season, and Manning will be able to continue contributing to the team’s success.

The team and staff are extremely excited to see the positive attributes Manning will bring to the team.

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