2020/21 Hot Seat

Discussion in 'Women's College' started by Chris Mahr, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. Collegewhispers

    Oct 27, 2011
    Club:
    Columbus Crew

    Nebraska could possibly be starting to feel a touch warm they’ve had a tougher few seasons but the coach has been there long enough that has probably given him some more time.

    I would doubt UMBC or N. Dakota are feeling any heat. I know Vanessa a little and there doesn’t seem to be much concern (at least this past summer) that there is any pressure.

    Cal Northridge was mentioned on here earlier. Does anyone know what is happening there?

    Any insight on what went down at Kentucky? It all seems fairly hush hush.
     
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  2. Jamie JBS

    Jamie JBS Member

    Fulham
    England
    May 10, 2021
    We had no idea what went down at Kentucky before Carry. Seemed like a nice bloke the one time we met.
     
  3. Eddie K

    Eddie K Member+

    May 5, 2007
    UMBC has been a black hole for college womens soccer for years as they hire and fire young coach after young coach. They let the players & parents drive off the recent staff that was at least locally well connected. Mann makes 94K to sail that ship in circles which is both awesome and shocking. I think she's only in year 3 of what is likely a 5-year deal. No way they want to pay more than they have to so I don't see a change soon. This '21 team is really her first real recruited roster so let's see. Many local kids have left as she's gone a bit international. That is a risk. Everyone benefits when mid majors like this in great soccer areas do well so hope it can work out.
     
  4. PlaySimple

    PlaySimple Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Chicagoland
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    I really have no concept of what a head coach at a place like UMBC should make or what is the average salary of a similar position. Because of that, I'm confused by your "awesome and shocking" comment. It seems a bit low to me. Is it low or is it high?
     
  5. Eddie K

    Eddie K Member+

    May 5, 2007
    I think that's a bit high for a midmajor with no football. Usually football salaries raise the bar somewhat for the entire department. Especially high for a coach that had no college head coaching experience. I think the men's coach at UMBC is a lifer and done well over the years so I assume that has alot to do with the women's salary. Towson, around the corner, is in a 'better' conference and paying their HC 68K. UMD is paying Leone 156 but the mens coach Cirovski is a legend and over 400k. I love college soccer and that high salary helps everyone in the soccer food chain I guess but that number was shocking when I learned it.

    So, awesome that UMBC is paying so much for a women's soccer coach but shocking that they could not get an experienced coach to lead that program with that level of funding. And this is about their 5th try in a row, notwithstanding their mishandling of the previous coach Wray.
     
  6. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The UMBC coach, for practical purposes, is in her third year. (I am not counting 2020.) It looks like the team will end up around #285 in the RPI rankings this year. That is an improvement (of about 20 positions) over the last two years and is about where they were right before she arrived. I think the time to do an evaluation will be either after next year or maybe even the year after that, to see if she has been able to improve the program. An evaluation now seems premature.
     
  7. Eddie K

    Eddie K Member+

    May 5, 2007
    I agree with you and love the data but I'm quite sure there isn't the phrase "practical purposes" in her contract! Everyone in the country has been in a very similar situation during this pandemic and how coaches handled it is certainly part of their evaluation. Clearly, there was plenty of recruiting happening as evidenced by their current roster with some new internationals and the Aussies, where she is obviously connected. I don't know for sure but if this is year 4 of a 5 year deal then the 2022 season needs to be better. But you have to always ask, how much does that college and admin really care? if there is some progress and the kids are not complaining (as they did with the past coaches).

    Funny thing sometimes when you are cleaning up a mess, just not making more mess is viewed as progress! Sometimes...
     
  8. Steph80

    Steph80 New Member

    USWNT
    United States
    Nov 21, 2018
    Villanova just relieved HC McClain of his duties this past weekend. Citing serious abuse of all kinds towards players, staff & support staff. Too many investigations into inappropriate behavior. AD had enough. Assistants were coaching team this weekend. His rep around NY/NJ/PA is lowest of low. Hearing all sorts of bad things from former/current players, coaches, donors, parents, & people close to program. Mark this one as 100% confirmed out as of this past weekend.
     
  9. collegesoccer1234

    collegesoccer1234 New Member

    Jun 19, 2015
    Specifics? The term serious abuse gets thrown around so much these days when usually it is code for upsetting the donors kid on the team.

    What was he doing?
     
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  10. Collegewhispers

    Oct 27, 2011
    Club:
    Columbus Crew

    Wow. Didn’t see that one coming. Not that he was the most stand up guy but I thought he was doing a good job and hadn’t heard about any abuse. Administration must have found something fairly deep though.

    Interesting enough I was speaking with a club coach in Colorado this evening about a prospect and he mentioned that there is likely to be a mass exodus from Colorado state after the season. Apparently the athletes don’t like the new staff and there is a lot of discontent. This will be interesting to see how it plays out as they had a disastrous start and looking at the results recently found their way. New coach there is no hot seat danger but the transfer portal may be full of co state athletes who have played a lot this fall.

    I don’t think UMBC are in any type of trouble. I do agree they’ve had some coaching movements over the years but my understanding is they are committed to the current staff. If anything they probably don’t want to have to hire another soccer coach AGAIN and will stick by Vanessa. Good soccer region, school not in the greatest part of Baltimore and that can make it a challenge, but the coaches there are workhorses and will find a way longer term. They are so saturated with competitors for talent within a 4 hour radius it is crazy. UMBC safe and for sure will be given a few more years IMHO.
     
  11. PlaySimple

    PlaySimple Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Chicagoland
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    BTW, it's "McLain," not McClain.

    McLain is still listed as the HC on the Villanova website. Normally when a coach is relieved of duties they're taken off of the website fairly quickly.

    We know some players that were at Ohio State when McLain was there. He had a reputation as being a no-nonsense and direct type of guy but really nothing like you are alluding to while he was at Villanova. His behavior and actions at Ohio State were not all that unusual and would be about what would be expected of a college HC from what I heard.

    Coaches need to hold players accountable and should be firm. I appreciate that there is a difference between being firm and a disciplinarian vs as you say, "inappropriate behavior," but far too often that firmness is misinterpreted as "abuse." I'm not commenting on McLain while he was at Villanova because I don't know. I'm just mentioning that it does happen and coaches sometimes get reputations that they don't necessarily deserve.

    As far as the program is concerned at Villanova, McLain was successful in his first season but the teams have seemed to struggle a bit. The shortened spring season was not good and they are struggling this year and have taken some pretty significant beatings. I am not sure that McLain was a big upgrade from Fran Kulas.
     
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  12. latearriving

    latearriving New Member

    I have no favorites
    England
    Oct 29, 2017
    Without saying anything to identify any specific individual, I can say that the allegations of abuse are real. Moreover, they have been reported since his first season, and have recurred every season since, with multiple reports making their way to top university administration.

    Realistically, this should have happened a long time ago
     
  13. SoccerTrustee

    SoccerTrustee Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    Also heard the rumblings at Villanova. More accurate picture was kids wanted to drink and take it easy, coach pushed back on that, administration caved in and gave the kids and parents what they wanted. These are the times we are living in. Good luck to the next coach there and the group he/she has to inherit. Assistant coaches played a part too to undermine, pretty much same thing Fran Kulas did to John Buford there and look at how worked out. Seemed like his previous kids really enjoyed having him at Colgate and Ohio State and they were both successful programs during his time there. McLain’s a good coach and human being and will land on his feet somewhere and someone will be luck to pick him up.

    As for UMBC have to imagine Vanessa Mann will be fine for a bit. $94K is a fairly high salary for a mid major but it’s not outrageous for that part of the country. That program needs stability and she’s a talented coach. Perhaps recruiting could be a little stronger. That’s a winnable conference with some work.
     
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  14. Nooneimportant

    Leeds United
    Jan 12, 2021
    It is strange that he hasn't been removed from the website. I did see the UCONN feed and he definitely was not on the sidelines.

    He has always been a bit of a used car salesman. Not the worst guy in person, but one of those that you don't trust to not put the knife in your back the second you turn around. I also know he was walking around Villanova like Jay Wright with some of the demands he would make. Problem was he had no National Championships.

    That said, I also have heard that there are some real toxic players/families in that program. I had heard the same thing about the drinking culture (that also contributed to Byford's downfall by the way). Not saying some of the gripes from players weren't real, but buyer beware whoever goes there next. This program is not in a good space from a culture standpoint.
     
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  15. Fall2021

    Fall2021 New Member

    Manchester United
    Brazil
    Oct 20, 2021
    From the moment I met Chris McLain, something seemed very "off." He bad-mouthed the program & coaches at Ohio State which was irrelevant to our reason for meeting. As for my first impression, he seemed very odd & unprofessional. The term "used car salesman" and narcissistic are common terms used to describe him. McLain should not be coaching youth soccer, as well. He also coaches at FCBucks, PA.
    As for the Villanova Women's Soccer Players, please be careful when saying things such as, "drinking culture, donors kids, toxic parents." The girls & their families do not deserve to be spoken about in this manner. They have truly been mentally abused by Chris since year one. Never have they wanted it to come easy and as D1 athletes, they wholeheartedly welcomed commitment, discipline and sacrifice. I will let the investigation reveal the details. My reason for commenting is to advocate for the dedicated, hard-working players at Villanova (past & present). These are young women that have dedicated their lives for the love of the sport and have always dreamed of playing college soccer. Chris has taken that away from so many girls and has done irreversible damage. These girls love each other, are suffering and trying to heal...for they are the one's that truly know what has been done to themselves and each other. They are the victim's.
     
  16. Collegewhispers

    Oct 27, 2011
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    I will be interested to hear what the abuse was. For example, the ‘abuse’ the players suffered at Cal turned out to be bull. Sometimes a coach giving tough love or having tough standards is framed as abuse by athletes whining. Not saying that’s what happened at Nova I’m just waiting to hear the details.
     
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  17. ytrs

    ytrs Member

    Jan 24, 2018
    I have had one interaction with him, and I will just say he was appallingly unprofessional. Yes, he was representing Villanova during said interaction.
     
  18. latearriving

    latearriving New Member

    I have no favorites
    England
    Oct 29, 2017
    You will get no argument from me about the quality of the current culture, but that is the responsibility of McLain and his staff. Leaders shape culture, and his inability to lead without screaming at, publicly belittling, grabbing, or shoving players to the ground has from day one been a huge problem.

    As Fall2021 noted, this is decidedly not a case of a bunch of spoiled girls who can't handle structure or discipline. Instead, it's now five seasons worth of girls who have been damaged by the abusive antics of Chris McLain. He is neither a decent person nor a good coach.

    Collegewhispers, out of deference to young women who may not want their stories recounted in this forum, you may or may not ever hear the details you are looking for. I can assure you, however, that the term "abuse" is not used lightly in this instance.

    Perhaps it took the recent changes in the NWSL and players like Abby Wambach posting publicly about their experiences for the Villanova administration to finally confront the toxic situation they have known about since early 2017. Whatever provided the impetus, this is the first truly good week for Villanova women's soccer in a long time.
     
  19. PlaySimple

    PlaySimple Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Chicagoland
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    It will be interesting to see what happens with Daniel Clitnovici, the associate head coach at 'nova. He is fairly close with McLain and they were also at Ohio State together. Additionally, Clitnovici is the girls DOC & the ECNL director at FC Bucks.
     
  20. latearriving

    latearriving New Member

    I have no favorites
    England
    Oct 29, 2017
    And exhibit A of why this was also not a case of assistants undermining the head coach for unwarranted reasons.
     
  21. SoccerTrustee

    SoccerTrustee Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    So from a couple posters I am hearing of abuse, allegations, and investigations at Villanova. But for what? Not saying anyone is right or wrong, just looking for an actual reason. Nothing specific has been mentioned here so no one knows what could be the reason for the change. If you have a specific example it would be good to hear it. Paul Riley (in a VERY different circumstance I am assuming) was let go from the NWSL for a specific reason. What is the exact reason(s) here for Villanova parting ways?

    Got to say I do find it odd that Fall 2021 is on here as a “new member”. You could have just stayed as Latearriving or Steph80. Latearriving, you mentioned shoving and pushing players to the ground from day one - have to say I call bullshit on that one. No coach gets away with that for a day, much less someone that has been in college coaching for 20 years so that sounds like a ridiculous claim. Too bad your daughter didn't get playing time.

    If termination was for abuse he wouldn’t be listed on the Villanova website still as their head coach, that would have been cause for immediate removal and since that is not the case that pretty much refutes posters on here saying otherwise. I’m waiting for more background on this.
     
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  22. outside63

    outside63 Member

    Jul 15, 2010
    For years the culture has been to ignore reports of abusive behavior from both athletes and women in general. It hasn't worked very well. Maybe it is time to believe the people at the lower end of the power dynamic more often.
     
  23. latearriving

    latearriving New Member

    I have no favorites
    England
    Oct 29, 2017
    SoccerTrustee, you seem to have an awful lot of information for someone who has no actual inside information in this matter.

    What has been posted here by me has nothing to do with anybody's playing time. As noted above, the details of players' stories are not mine to share, but for anybody inside the program for the past five years, the issues there are no secret.

    Plenty was reported, and plenty more was not due to the culture of fear McLain instilled there. How much will come out? You'll have to wait and see, but pooh-poohing reports out of hand tends to make one part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
     
  24. ytrs

    ytrs Member

    Jan 24, 2018
    I have no insight but perhaps they are leaving him on the website until the end of the season (but relieving him of his duties immediately). Reason for this could be to keep it internal for the most part. Firing him publicly mid-season would bring about questions and media reports. Keeping it on the quiet and letting him go after the season can come off as performance related and everyone moves on quickly.
     
  25. staffstaff

    staffstaff Member

    Sep 12, 2016
    Club:
    AC Milan
    Fran was a disaster….hard to imagine (for some people) it could get so much worse...or maybe it is just throwing out names, and shit, as such.

     

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