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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Q&A; with Lisa Oyen

Editor’s Note: Lisa Oyen was appointed head coach of Arizona soccer by Jim Livengood on Thursday. The Arizona Daily Wildcat’s Vincent Balistreri caught up with the newly appointed Oyen to discuss which players will return and the future of the soccer program.

Daily Wildcat: First of all, congratulations on being named the soccer head coach. When did you find out that you would be the new soccer coach?

Lisa Oyen: I found out on Thursday, the day it was announced.

DW: Were you shocked that the decision came so quick?

LO: I knew they wanted to make a decision quickly for the best interest of the group so I was surprised when they told me they were going to hire me. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew they were going to act quickly.

DW: So have you spoken to the returning players?

LO: Yes, I was able to speak with them on Thursday.

DW: What did you tell the returning players when you spoke with them?

LO: I just let them know the excitement, the optimism that I have with this group moving forward. That was a big reason why this was something I wanted as far as the position. I feel really strongly with the kind of people we have in this program.

DW: Do you think all the returning players will return next season?

LO: We’re going to meet everyone individually, I think they should have some optimism for the future.

DW: You were an assistant under Dan Tobias for the last eight years. Have you talked to him since being hired?

LO: Yes, we’ve talked.

DW: What was that like?

LO: It was a positive conversation. That is a conversation that should stay between him and me.

DW: As the head coach, what is your next move?

LO: To bring a third person to the coaching staff. We’re allowed to train with the group until early December so on Monday were going to start that process. We want to move forward, we want to set a tone and establish a standard rhythm from the get-go.

DW: So John Galas will be back as an assistant?

LO: Correct.

DW: As far as the second assistant, are you going to wait until the soccer season is officially over to search for a new assistant?

LO: We’re discussing that right now. We want to do this as quickly as possible without rushing it. We’re not waiting on this or that. We’re working on it right now so we’ll see what happens with that.

DW: After being an assistant for so long, how important is (it) for you build your own identity as a head coach?

LO: Working with Dan, I was his assistant but I was able to have a variety of experiences outside of working with Dan to grow as a head coach. I am excited about the challenge and opportunity to kind (of) instill my own ideas.

DW: Since the program’s first season in 1994, there have been problems with the relationships between players and coaches. Is it important for you to make sure that doesn’t happen again?

LO: I feel like the relationships you have (with) your coach is extremely important. The one thing I enjoy about coaching is having good relationships with the players and it’s not going to always be easy because you’re always going to have something come up even if you have the perfect player and the perfect coach. It’s a matter of how you deal with differences that will come up. As long as there is a good understanding of what the ultimate goal is you should be able to move forward.

DW: I’ve heard you say how optimistic you are about the future. What makes you so optimistic?

LO: Part of (it)is because of the kind people and players we already (have) here. There is more that I think we can get out of the current players so I’m excited about that. Also with the upcoming class coming in next year, that’s where my optimism comes from.

DW: With that said, what is your vision for the soccer program moving into the future?

LO: Well, I think we need to be a team that is much more competitive in our conference. Where we finished this season is obviously not where we want to finish. I think we (are) definitely a team that can finish higher, I don’t know the timeline of that but we all hope it’s sooner than later. It’s about taking small steps at the beginning and working our way to our ultimate goal, that’s being one of the top teams in our conference and the nation.


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