A local kid is coming home. Born in Brunswick—just down the road from the College, the new head coach of men’s soccer, Scott Wiercinski, is returning to a campus he knows quite well. After graduating from Brunswick High School in 1995, Wiercinski faced a commonly shared problem by many graduating seniors. Should he, or should he not, go to the hometown school? 

“I think when I faced my options at the time, I wanted to do something a little different,” Wiercinski said in a phone interview with the Orient. “The idea of getting a little farther away from home was enticing at that point. Maybe that was my rebellious phase.”

Wiercinski chose Middlebury, where he was a star goalkeeper for the Panthers. When he graduated in 1999, he held records for the fifth-most saves and fourth-most shutouts in team history while helping the Panthers to the NCAA tournament all four years he played. 

Wiercinski eventually entered the corporate world after graduating, but soon left because it was something he “really did not enjoy.” He was hired in 2000 as an assistant coach for the Polar Bears and said that after a few days of being on the pitch, “I knew then that this was really my calling. It was the place that made me comfortable when I was a student.”

As a goalkeeper, he always felt that he had a solid tactical understanding of the game, as well as a responsibility to use his voice to communicate as his team’s last line of defense. However, he never saw himself as a coach until his first season coaching Bowdoin.

A year later, he was hired as an assistant by Brown University and helped lead the team to several Ivy League championships and two NCAA D-I Tournament berths. 

In 2005, he was named the head coach at the University of Chicago, where he went 58-47-10 in seven seasons leading the Maroons. 

When Bowdoin’s previous head soccer coach, Fran O’Leary, stepped down earlier this semester to become the Director of Player Development for Toronto FC of Major League Soccer, Wiercinski became a candidate for the opening because of his earlier ties to the College. 

“It was a quality candidate pool and it was clear through the process that Scott was the ideal person to lead our program going forward,” said Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan.

Wiercinski, as he had been 17 years ago, was faced for a second time with a decision on whether to go to Bowdoin. 

“In many ways it was very difficult,” Wiercinski said. “I had a great relationship with Chicago [but] the opportunity to come to Bowdoin and to come home was a dream job.” 

According to Wiercinski, one of his chief reasons for him making the move to Brunswick was because of his family. 

“My wife and I had a son last summer. [The University of] Chicago is kind of like a city within a city,” he said. “At Bowdoin you can walk around and know everybody. We couldn’t think of a better environment to raise our son in.”

Wiercinski is inheriting a team that has been among the most competitive in the College’s history, and his players have already picked up on his competitiveness and drive to succeed. That passion appears to make him perfectly aligned with a similarly driven and talented team.

“In every conversation we’ve had with him, he’s reiterated how much he loves to win,” said forward Daniel Melong ’15.

That being said, according to forward Zach Danssaert ’14, Wiercinski is about much more than just winning. He expects performance in the classroom and on the pitch.

“[Wiercinski] holds his teams to a high standard on and off the field,” said Danssaert. “On the field he expects us to work hard at all times. Off the field he is invested in our team giving back to the community.”

Wiercinski believes that soccer is a mechanism that can be used to teach lessons.

“Ultimately, what I care about is doing things the right way. We can be a team that this is school is proud of,” said Weircinski. “And win a lot of games.”