|Coach Odie Guzman Q&A|
|Written by Lyndsey Ruble | The Bison|
|Friday, 23 March 2012 09:10|
Former Harding soccer player returns to coach the Bisons men's soccer team after spending two years on staff at Lubbock Christian University.
Q: What was your No. 1 reason to return to Harding?
A: I graduated from here and I absolutely had a blast the four years I was here. Searcy is a special place. Everyone is kind, and I like to be in a small environment where everryone knows each other. Harding was also my dream job, to be honest. I was hoping I could end up back here when I was 50 and retire out here, but I guess things changed and God had a different plan.
Q: How has your work at Lubbock Christian University prepared you to coach the Harding men’s team?
A: I learned a lot there, especially from the head coach, Kyle Beard. He was a good mentor for a lot of the guys there. A few things I picked up is trying to nurture these players’ spiritual lives and academically creating the right environment to succeed. The biggest thing is realizing that the sport is only for a short period of time. Not a lot of them are going to be professionals, so they need to start thinking about their career. That’s the biggest thing I learned from coaching — how to prepare these guys and mold them into the men they will be when they start graduating.
Q: How are you diving into the recruiting process?
A: I am a recruiting machine. I love going out and finding new players. My favorite part of this job is finding those players that are diamonds in the rough. What I mean by that is players who have been overlooked and, to be honest, I was one of those players. I think those players actually bring a lot more to the table when they realize that they have potential.
Q: What is your vision for Harding’s men’s team?
A: First and foremost, I want these guys to grow into the Christian men that Harding expects, which are providers for their family, ambassadors for the school and representatives of God. That’s where I judge success. Not only can I make an impact in sports, but also in the players’ lives. And of course, athletics comes into play. I want to be nationally competitive, and I want us to be a soccer power house in the next couple years. With the players that I have at the moment, they are going to be setting the bar high for years to come.
Q: How is switching to the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association going to challenge and benefit the team?
A: It will definitely challenge our team with the caliber of other teams that are currently in the conference. It will benefit our guys by seeing what the next level is. That’s where I want my team to reach — the next level — and not only competing at that level but being successful. The teams that are there will be testing us week in and week out, but from there we can only get better.
Q: What has it been like to work alongside your former coach, Coach Greg Harris?
A: It’s been good. He is one of the reasons I am confident to be in this position. He helps me with basically everything. He was my mentor when I was a player, and he is the coach that I want to be. He does such a great job of keeping up with his players and mentoring and he always wants to help out. If I have any questions, he stops what he is doing and makes sure I understand. He is the one teaching me the ropes around here.
Q: Would you say that it is an advantage that you came in before the start of the season? How are you using this time to work with your team?
A: Yes, it’s a huge advantage. I can work with the players in offseason. In these months, they can start to understand what I want to work on for this next season. We’re already in the middle of working on what I expect from them. I get to know the players, and then I can start installing the skills that I want them to start growing and sharpening. It’s tough to come in during the summer and not know who your players are or what they need to work on. So, this just gives me insight into each of the players’ skills and weaknesses so we can start working on team chemistry going into preseason.
|Last Updated on Friday, 23 March 2012 09:14|