As the eighth head coach for the men’s soccer team in SIUE history since 1967, Cale Wassermann joins the university with high hopes for the team and his new position.
Wassermann came to SIUE after working as a recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at Michigan State University for the past four seasons. He helped with coaching, summer camps and fundraising initiatives.
Athletic Director Brad Hewitt said he is proud of the decision the Athletic Department made to hire Wassermann.
“[Wassermann] is going to bring a different approach and different experiences to the program and, coming to a place where soccer is the premiered fall sport, he said it’s exciting to have men’s soccer so well-perceived and supported emotionally by our alums, our institutions and our traditions,” Hewitt said. “So, I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity for a first Division I head coaching job.”
SIUE was a good fit for Wassermann because he believes the university will be a place to grow.
“For myself, I was looking for a place both professionally and personally where I could see myself in the long term and somewhere that I could build, continue to grow and set high goals and [SIUE] checked all those boxes,” Wassermann said.
Hewitt said Wasserman was a great fit to the program for more than just his coaching skills.
“We have a lot of mandatory participation for our student-athletes, leadership developments, institutional activities, tutoring and class participation and community service and we expect our coaching staff to ensure that all those expectations are met,” Hewitt said. “[Wassermann] was a great fit for those things.”
Three main goals drive Wasserman to his long-term vision for the program.
“The big goals, the reason you do this thing, for me, is for three main reasons: to develop people, to get an education and a degree and to have a goal of winning a national championship,” Wassermann said. “We’re trying to help the [players] learn life lessons and make sure they know academics are a priority.”
Resources from the program and the two assistant coaches will help Wassermann get familiar with the team and the program.
“I am fortunate to have [assistant coaches] like Jeremy [Proud] and Simon [Bird] that have been a part of this process with other experienced coaches and they know the ins and outs of the team, the league and the campus,” Wassermann said. “So, obviously leaning on resources that are already in place, both [coaches] and other staff will help.”
Wassermann believes building solid relationships is important to meeting team goals.
“I’m a big relationship guy and my goal is to get to know each individual player and build a relationship and learn about each of them, strengths and weaknesses, how they communicate and how they respond,” Wassermann said.
Assistant Coach Jeremy Proud said they are all striving for the same goals for the team.
“As a staff we are looking to help the players and we are here for them, not the other way around, so, as long as we are all working in the same direction it’s going to be positive,” Proud said. “[Wasserman’s] resume speaks for itself and the experiences that he’ll bring are just as valuable.”
Wassermann said he is excited to become a part of SIUE soccer’s culture.
“There’s a very good culture in place here with the coaching staff and the players and the strong foundation that has been built,” Wassermann said. “I feel pretty fortunate to be a part of a special place.”