The women's soccer team has a new coach in Brianne Weaver, Director of Athletics Jeff Ward announced this Wednesday. Weaver has served as head coach at her alma mater, St. Mary's College in Maryland, for the last six years.

Weaver will take over for Maren Rojas, who stepped down after five years to take a job as head coach at Boston College. According to Ward, the athletic department began receiving calls of interest only hours after Rojas announced her decision.

"We had over 100 applicants for the job—the deepest pool of candidates that I can ever remember for a search," said Ward, who has hired 16 new coaches in his 14 years at Bowdoin.

Ward and a selection committee narrowed down the large applicant pool to four potential coaches who traveled to Brunswick for interviews.

The candidates each attended a casual dinner with several staff members, met with Ward, toured the campus with the team's rising captains, and met the entire soccer team to answer questions.

Weaver impressed Ward and the team with her enthusiasm and coaching philosophy during her visit to campus. She was impressive enough that Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster confirmed her appointment on April 10, only four days after she interviewed for the job.

"I was really struck by how thoughtfully she has approached her career. She talked about teaching and styles of teaching soccer, which I find valuable, but not something most coaches usually do," said Ward.

Rising captain Casey Blossom '13 agreed with Ward, citing Weaver's enthusiasm.

"You could just tell she was excited to be here at Bowdoin and her excitement was contagious," said Blossom.

During their session with Weaver, the team quizzed her on a topics ranging from relationships with her previous players, to her willingness to change the program, to running them through a typical practice.

"We wanted someone who could push us as a team. We're on the brink of a breakout season and we wanted someone driven and focused, but someone who also realized that being at Bowdoin is not just about playing soccer," said Blossom.

Weaver has the potential to do just that, having led St. Mary's to three conference championship wins in her six years as head coach. She also served as the athletic department's senior woman administrator and worked closely with the St. Mary's development office.

Ward was most impressed with "the diversity of the people who called on her behalf," including a NESCAC men's soccer coach, a longtime D-III coach, and a member of the faculty at Bowdoin.

"Each of them had different, but positive things to say about her and all of that tied together to help with the decision," said Ward.

Ward's decision will be put to the test this fall, but until then he will be busy trying to fill another other empty position. After 22 years at the helm of the men's lacrosse program, Thomas McCabe will step down at the end of this season and join the Peace Corps with his wife Pat.

Ward had plenty of advance notice of the decision.

"Tom and I have been talking about it for a while—I would say we probably had the conversation in June last year when we started talking about the process," he said. "Although it's unusual talking so far in advance, it allowed me to talk informally to a few people I know in the lacrosse world about the position."

Ward, who attended a lacrosse convention this December, said there is already a great deal of interest in the position.

"These jobs don't come very often. It's pretty early on, but I'm guessing we'll have somewhere between 75 to 100 applications," he said.

Although it is still early in the process, the position will not remain open for long. Ward said he hopes to make a decision within the next few weeks, and will announce the new coach the first week of June.

Ward said he does not mind the long selection process.

"It's the most important thing I do," he said.