Former UVa Soccer Star Paddy Foss is First-Time Coach with St. Anne's Belfield
Former UVa men's soccer star Paddy Foss says he never thought of becoming a coach during his playing days, but a love of the game led him to become the head coach of the girls team at St. Anne's-Belfield.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - When Paddy Foss finished his career with the UVa men's soccer team in the fall of 2016, his thoughts immediately turned to coaching.
"When I stepped off the field, I thought, 'Coaching is not something I want to do,'" says Foss, "but you start to miss the game pretty quick."
Foss accepted the job as the St. Anne's-Belfield girls soccer coach this past November.
He replaces Mark O'Donnell, who led the Saints to a couple of state championships during his tenure.
Senior center forward Alex LaCour says, "I've had the same coach since 8th grade, along with some of the girls who are seniors, so the new coach is definitely an adjustment. Being a UVa player, he came in with a lot of hype."
"It does help, I think, in the sense that there's a little bit of respect that I got, having just come off the field," says Foss.
Senior midfielder Gillian Borton says, "He has the player perspective, and I think we all respect him, because of that."
It could also be the new haircut.
Foss says, "The story with my hair is I came in with short hair, and once I grew it out and we won, I couldn't cut it. But the real world comes at you fast, and I had to get a job, and the locks were no more."
Foss has made some changes to the Saints' playing style this season.
Borton says, "Speed of play. He pushes us to play really fast."
"We've been playing a lot faster, because he can kick our butt in practice, and we have to keep up with him," adds LaCour.
When the players address their new coach, they call him by his first name.
LaCour says, "I think it's 'cause he's 23, so he's still getting used to the 'Mister/Coach' thing. He doesn't want to feel old yet, but he kinda is."
"It's a little different," says Foss. "I'm still getting used to it, for sure. It's a learning experience for me, too."
Foss won a national championship with the Cavaliers in 2014, and he says his new team has a similar make-up.
"They're winners," says Foss. "You can't teach someone how to be a winner. This is a group that is capable of winning some championships."