Suzanne Willard, a former star goalkeeper at William Smith College and most recently an assistant coach with the Herons, has been named assistant women's soccer coach at Bucknell. Willard, who brings four years of college coaching experience to Bucknell, joins Findlay and graduate assistant coach Ann Brophy on the Bison's three-person coaching staff. Willard is a member of the William Smith Class of 1999.
The press release from Bucknell follows:
Former William Smith Goalkeeper Named Top Assistant With Bison
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Suzanne Willard, a former star goalkeeper at William Smith College and most recently an assistant coach with the Herons, has been named assistant women's soccer coach at Bucknell, head coach Chrissy Findlay announced Thursday.
Willard, who brings four years of college coaching experience to Bucknell, joins Findlay and graduate assistant coach Ann Brophy on the Bison's three-person coaching staff.
“I am very excited to have Suzanne join our staff,” said Findlay, the Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2001. “She has enjoyed tremendous success both as a player and a coach at a perennial Division III soccer powerhouse. Suzanne knows what it takes to win, and she has proven to be an excellent teacher and leader. Those are the attributes any head coach looks for in an assistant.”
A four-year starter in goal for a William Smith program that has made more NCAA Tournament appearances than any other in the Division III ranks, Willard led the Herons to four straight NCAA showings, including a run to the national championship game in 1997 and the national semifinals in 1995. She broke the school record for career shutouts (45) and was an all-region, all-conference and all-state pick as a senior. Following her final year she was the recipient of the William Smith Soccer Coaches Award and the Joseph N. Abraham Memorial Training Award, given for perseverance, heart and performance.
Willard was also an academic all-region selection as she earned a bachelor of arts degree in history while participating in the school's education certification program.
Willard was the recipient of the Helen Heath Award for Academic Excellence in 1996, and she studied in Bath, England in the spring of 1997, where she taught and coached soccer at a British secondary school.
In 1999 Willard took her first college coaching position as the graduate assistant at Washington College in Maryland. After a two-year stint there, she returned to her alma mater as assistant women's soccer coach. In addition to her coaching and recruiting duties with the soccer program, Willard also taught a course in plyometrics, conditioning and strength training.
During the two years as an assistant with the Herons, she helped guide them to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2001 and the national semifinals in 2002. In addition, Williard worked closely with goalkeeper Leah Cornwell, the 2002 NCAA Division III Player of the Year.
At Bucknell, Willard joins a program that is only one season removed from the school's first Patriot League title and NCAA Tournament appearance. In 2001, the Bison defeated Navy in the PL championship game and made an excellent showing in a 3-1 loss to Penn State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Last season, Bucknell finished 6-9-2 overall and 1-5-1 in the Patriot League.
“I am extremely pleased with the makeup of our staff,” commented Findlay. “As the Bucknell women's soccer program moves into its 14th varsity season in 2003, we will have a well-rounded staff that excels in everything from coaching and mentoring to recruiting and fund-raising.”
The Bison open their 2003 season on Sunday, August 31, at Towson.