LEDGER – Andrew Cooper has been named head coach of the Mitchell High School girls’ varsity soccer team.
Cooper replaces Meredith Hoilman, who coached the team to a 3-13 record this past season.
Cooper, who grew up near Asheville and graduated from Enka High School, said he is eager to take over.
“I feel really fortunate,” he said. “Meredith left this program in a great position.”
Cooper is no stranger to coaching sports in Mitchell County. He previously coached the Harris Middle School boys’ basketball team and Bowman Middle girls’ basketball team before spending three years as an assistant coach for the Mitchell High varsity boys’ soccer team.
“My favorite thing is seeing the kids grow,” Cooper said. “Seeing them individually progress, that’s a thrill and there’s nothing like it.”
Cooper takes over a team that has gone 13-47-1 since the beginning of the 2015 season.
Cooper said success will come, but in the meantime, he hopes to help the culture of soccer grow in Mitchell County by connecting with potential players long before they get to Mitchell High.
Identifying future players at the recreation league and middle school levels and then working with them as they grow as players is how a strong culture is built, he added.
“I have a lot of girls playing winter sports but the ones that aren’t, I’m trying to get connected with,” Cooper said. “My goal is to grow the program. You have to look at the younger kids and try to impart what you want them to do once they get to the high school level.”