Coach Unifies Carroll Community College Soccer Programs
Carroll Community College soccer program head coach, Tom O’Brien, has been selected to head up the College’s women’s soccer team in addition to the men’s team starting April 1st.
“When we realized we needed to look for another women’s coach, our first thought was Tom,” explained Jen Snyder, Senior Director of Student Engagement, the office that oversees Carroll’s Athletics program. “Tom has been successful in fielding varsity teams at Carroll for the past three years. He’s done such a great job building the men’s team we hope he can bring that same success to the women’s program.”
Turning Around a Team
Although established in 2019, women’s soccer at Carroll has yet to have enough athletes to field a team. With the pandemic waning, O’Brien hopes to reverse that trend. Bolstering his efforts with the women’s program will be a new assistant women’s coach, for which a search is currently underway.
“My approach from day one was to build an administrative and strategic foundation for the team and have my assistants do what they do best in terms of player development, training and game execution,” O’Brien explained. “They have always been key contributors in identifying player strengths and opportunities, working with me and the players to develop approaches to get the most from our student-athletes. This will continue along with helping me with our tactical approaches to games and competition.”
O’Brien believes the future of women’s soccer at Carroll is promising but cautions that, “in many ways we are starting from a different point than where we are with men’s soccer, so there is significant work to be done.” That work has already started as O’Brien is planning for a women’s soccer ID camp in mid-May. (ID camps help a college identify potential student-athletes for their Athletics program.)
On the Field and Beyond
Previous to Carroll, O’Brien served for four years as an assistant coach under head coach Graeme Millar at Stevenson University. He also played and coached at Towson University for Frank Olszewski’s Tigers. A two-time MVP, O’Brien was an All-East Coast Conference selection and named to the Division I All-South Team. In 2000, he was inducted into the Towson University Athletic Hall of Fame.
My approach from day one was to build an administrative and strategic foundation for the team and have my assistants do what they do best in terms of player development, training and game execution
“Coach O’Brien always pushed us physically as well as academically,” Carroll Men’s Soccer player Justin Ricketts said. “He helped me achieve my goal of progressing on the field while always ensuring that my goals in the classroom were met. Coach was also invested in my future goals, offering me help to attend a four-year university or start a career.”
O’Brien is now up for the challenge of recruiting female players in Carroll County for the Carroll Community College soccer program, believing that “women have an innate maturity in that they need to see the benefit besides having fun.”
To that end, O’Brien shows his players a value proposition in that Carroll not only offers incredibly competitive education, but they can play the game they love and also apply their knowledge from their soccer experience to whatever their next steps in life might be, such as toward a university or trade school, or owning their own business or advancing their career.
“As a coach, I don’t just teach soccer,” O’Brien said. “I encourage life lessons and experiences that transcend athletics.”
Become a Lynx!
Register for the Women’s Soccer ID Camp on Tuesday, June 14 from 6 – 8 p.m. All high school athletes, graduates, and current Carroll students who are interested in playing soccer are invited to participate.