Thanks to communication skills, tactical knowledge and hard work, former Montezuma-Cortez High School soccer player Anthony Presnell is enjoying life as a college soccer coach.
Acting as an assistant coach for the Regis University men’s team last season, Presnell helped lead his team to a 14-4-1 overall record and an appearance in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Soccer Tournament.
Discussing his first year of coaching at Regis, Presnell explained that while learning the ins and outs of coaching a top-notch program was not easy, the experience was invaluable.
“It was eye opening,” said Presnell of his first season at Regis. “I was given more responsibility in terms of running sessions, designing sessions and covering travel. It was challenging, but it created a lot of growth individually, personally and professionally.”
In addition to managing his duties at Regis, Presnell dedicated time to coaching Westminster AFC, a large soccer club located near Denver.
Working for Westminster AFC, Presnell managed two teams last year. Currently, the M-CHS graduate oversees the development of players between the ages of eight and 14.
Speaking about the youth coaching experience, Presnell stressed that developing players at an early age is key if the sport of soccer is to eventually grow in the United States.
“We already have more youth playing soccer in our country than any other country in the world,” said Presnell. “Hopefully that will help our domestic leagues. We can’t expect (soccer) to be the NFL, but we can bring it into the forefront.”
Prior to coaching at Regis University and Westminster AFC, Presnell founded University of Northern Arizona Club Soccer Team, coached Red Mountain High School in Phoenix and acted as an assistant for Mesa Community College.
While at Red Mountain High School, Presnell was named Mesa All-City High School Coach of the Year in back-to-back seasons.
“I sacrificed a lot,” said Presnell. “I worked extremely hard for three years to get people’s attention.”
A graduate of the University of Northern Arizona, Presnell plans to continue coaching in the years to come.
Asked whether he would eventually like to become a head coach at the college level, Presnell responded that he is currently happy with his coaching position.
“We’ll see what the future holds,” said Presnell. “Right now, I’m in a really good place. There’s no real reason for me to look outside of this and I’m trying not to.”