By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian
After sorting through about 90 applications, Fairmont State Director of Athletics Tim McNeely announced Tuesday that Patrick McGinnis has been named the Falcons’ first-ever women’s soccer coach.
This isn’t the first time McGinnis will be building a program from the ground up. He spent the last six seasons at Alderson-Broaddus, where he turned a startup program into a national contender. Twice McGinnis was named the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year (2009 and 2011). He led the Battlers to an NCAA tournament appearance in 2011 and followed it up by winning the WVIAC regular-season championship in 2012, the final conference championship before the league was disbanded.
McNeely believes McGinnis’ track record of getting programs off the ground will help him do the same for the Falcons when they play their first Mountain East Conference games in 2014.
“We are very excited to welcome Patrick (McGinnis) to Fairmont State as the first women’s soccer coach,” McNeely said in a statement. “Patrick did a tremendous job building the A-B program over its six years and we are very confident that he can have the same success at Fairmont State.”
While McGinnis is eager to build the Falcons into an MEC powerhouse, he acknowledges the challenges of building a fresh program. He was careful not to be overly ambitious when asked of his goals for the first season.
“I just want to be competitive,” the 32-year-old said. “What this first year does is really helps to build the foundation and make sure that the foundation is set.
“Wins and losses don’t matter as much to me. We want to be competitive and make sure we have the fundamentals in place. That’s the biggest thing. You don’t want to bring in a group and then start over two years later.”
McGinnis, who played collegiate soccer at what is now Salem International, began his coaching career in 2005 as a graduate assistant at the university. After three seasons, he joined Glenville State University’s athletic department where he worked on compliance issues in addition to serving as the sports information director.
The Columbus, Ohio, native has also been part of the West Virginia Olympic Development Program staff since 2005, and he serves as the director of coaching at West Virginia United/Mountaineer United Soccer Club.
McGinnis plans to select his assistant coaches in the coming weeks. He said he has a short list of candidates based on previous experiences.
He also will begin the recruiting process immediately to get the ball rolling.
“Any time you’re starting from scratch, you have to make sure you have all your ducks in a row,” he said. “More than anything it’s going to be about getting the word out to let the local club and high school coaches know what you’re trying to build.”
Email Mike DeFabo at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.