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TAYLORSVILLE — Salt Lake Community College announced the addition of a men’s and women’s soccer program in March.
The Bruins now have a face to lead that program as well.
Former BYU-Hawaii Mark Davis has been named the head coach of both the men’s and women’s soccer teams, the school announced Tuesday.
“Any time you are given the opportunity to start something from scratch, it’s extremely exciting,” said Davis, who also currently coaches the semi-professional RSL-Women’s team. “I like being able to establish a culture and a foundation of winners on and off the field, and get them ready for life.
“It’s exciting, it’s new, it’s fresh and it’s something I’m really looking forward to it and am excited about doing.”
The Bruins, who will play home games at Bruin Soccer Field at the school’s Taylorsville campus, will compete in the Scenic West Athletic Conference. The long-time home of Bruin athletics will add men’s and women’s soccer for the fall 2016 season and be immediately eligible for postseason NJCAA play.
Davis’ immediate designs involve leading the men’s and women’s teams, who will play each match in a doubleheader fashion, to postseason glory — much like the Bruin basketball program of recent years.
Any time you are given the opportunity to start something from scratch, it’s extremely exciting. I like being able to establish a culture and a foundation of winners on and off the field, and get them ready for life.
–SLCC soccer coach Mark Davis
Much of that starts with a foundation built on local recruiting.
“Our first and foremost priority is to do well in recruiting local players and local clubs and high schools in the state of Utah,” said Davis, a Copper Hills High alumnus. “We don’t want to ever miss out on a local player and be competing for the best in the state. At BYU-Hawaii, I recruited a good portion from Logan to St. George. At Salt Lake Community College, it’s going to be about getting the best local players into our program and then getting the right national and international players into the system.
“We want to bring in the top players to build the best culture on and off the field.”
Soccer becomes the sixth and seventh intercollegiate sport at Salt Lake, joining baseball, softball, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball as fully funded National Junior College Athletics Association programs by the school’s athletic department. The school has previously fielded a club soccer program to reasonable success, including sending former Real Salt Lake forward Justin Braun to Major League Soccer and a professional career. Braun currently plays for Indy Eleven in the second-division North American Soccer League.
“We are extremely excited about the addition of men’s and women’s soccer,” SLCC vice president for student affairs Chuck Lepper said in a statement. “We firmly believe this will enhance the overall experience of our entire student body and provide increased opportunities for prospective athletes.”
Davis said he has already seen the commitment from the college to make his program a success.
“I want to thank athletic director Kevin Dustin,” Davis said. “I’ve been really impressed with him and Salt Lake Community College athletics staff for their professionalism in making this all happen.”