Creating a "family" bond
coach emphasizes relationships
At Bluffton University, it’s all about relationships, and the women’s soccer team is no exception.
“Team chemistry is probably our strongest asset right now,” said Kevin Gregory, head women’s soccer coach. “Our team works extremely well together. I am very, very lucky with the group I inherited. They’re all super tight and hang out with each other off the field, too.”
Gregory came to Bluffton following his time as the assistant men’s and women’s soccer coach at his alma mater, Hendrix College, in Conway, Ark.
“I’m a Texas guy. I was born in Houston, Texas, and raised in Georgetown, Texas,” said Gregory. “After undergrad, I went back to Texas and got my master’s in secondary education at Texas State University then got the call to come back to coach at Hendrix.”
After several years as the assistant at Hendrix, Gregory started looking for a head coaching position and found his calling up north or and found his way to the Midwest.
“The women’s basketball assistant at Hendrix was the previous women’s basketball graduate assistant at Bluffton. Even before I was looking for jobs, she always talked about how awesome Bluffton is,” said Gregory.
With a season under his belt, Gregory plans to build on the growth the team developed this year.
“I think our girls are ready to prove themselves,” he said.
To earn this respect, Gregory challenges his team to be better people and players both on and off the field every single day.
“It’s life and soccer. It’s just ten toes down, and you’re not going to get pushed around and you have to stand up for yourself,” said Gregory. “We have a bunch of kids who are eager for that challenge and understand that, and I think we go about it the right way. We have a good time when it’s time to have a good time, and we work our tails off when it’s time to work our tails off.”
Working hard requires trust and Gregory strives to build that with his team.
“We’re very genuine,” Gregory said. “Players and prospective students pick up on that pretty quickly. We always tell the players we will be extremely honest with them, sometimes bluntly honest, but overall, they appreciate that. We’ve have a really strong ‘family forever’ bond which makes us special.”