Girls’ varsity soccer coach recognized as Coach of the Year

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As the final seconds of the clock run down, the referee blows the whistle, signaling the end of the game. The girls’ varsity soccer team celebrates the win, knowing that they will be advancing to the state championship. Their coach, Benjamin Wilson, congratulates them, knowing that all their hard work had paid off.

“As a coach, I just had a big feeling of relief. I slept easier than other nights during the season and was just really proud and happy for the girls, as I always am,” Wilson said. 

Toward the end of the year, Wilson won the 2019 all-around Coach of the Year award for Southeastern Pennsylvania. The Daily Local News nominated Wilson because of his coaching skills and his team’s performance.

“I guess, kind of selfishly, I hoped we could’ve (won) out (the state final) game and we wouldn’t have lost in double overtime. So, really, I was about five minutes away from winning the whole state’s Coach of the Year award but it is still a great honor,” Wilson said.

Wilson played soccer in college at Susquehanna University, which is where his coaching career first picked up. He was promoted from a player to the assistant coach of the Susquehanna men’s soccer team and stayed to coach collegiate soccer for three years. In 2015, Wilson shifted his focus and began coaching at the high school level because he got married to Katie Wilson, a teacher at Conestoga. In 2018, he found success when the Daily Local News awarded him with the first ever High School Coach of Significance Award for Pennsylvania.

Wilson stands out from other coaches because of his coaching style.

He believes in facilitating open conversation and feedback between himself and the team, consistently giving advice to help his team be successful in the game. After a bad match, Wilson doesn’t overwork his players, but instead chooses to sit down and hold a classroom session. They discuss errors made during the game and tactics they can improve upon.

“In general, Coach Ben has taught me to look beyond myself and play for my teammates,” senior and captain Calista Courtney said. “He is understanding and encourages us to try new things even though we may mess up. He supports us, and that’s what makes him such a great coach.”

Wilson believes the most rewarding aspect of coaching is the relationship he is able to foster with the team both on and off the soccer field. Wilson supports the team in everything, from improving technical skills to mentally preparing them for a game. His support even extends to the off-season. Wilson dedicates his time to helping the girls lift twice a week after school and attends the games they play at YSC, an indoor soccer league outside of the school.  

“I think they just know I’m really invested in them, and I think that gives them a lot of confidence to just focus on playing the game,” Wilson said. “I love the game and I love being around soccer. I really do care about my players and seeing them be successful down the road with their careers, family life and all that. I hope they continue to be around the game like I always have been, and maybe even coach themselves.”