Chris Handy, MGCCC soccer ready for 2012 season
He’s played, competed, and coached at the championship level. Now Chris Handy brings enthusiasm, discipline, and loads of championship experience to the table as the new head coach of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s men’s and women’s soccer teams.
MGCCC’S (from left to right): Raven Lawrence, Dani Craft, and Tori Zimmer go through conditioning drills Aug. 10.
“I am very excited about the opportunity at Gulf Coast,” said Handy. “The men's and women's programs are already established in the State and Region while the College has a strong administration with a commitment to success on and off the field.”
Handy comes to Gulf Coast from Tyler Junior College (TX) where he spent five years as an assistant coach. During that time, the Tyler men went 89-9-6, won back-to-back NJCAA titles (2009-10), and finished third in 2011. Before his time at Tyler, Handy was a player and then intern at Florida International University.
“I learned a lot at Tyler, and I feel my time there has shaped me into who I am today,” he said. “The main thing I learned is just how important it is to work hard and have a winning mentality. You also have to make sure that your athletes are motivated on the field and in the classroom and everything you do must be first class.”
Handy, a native of Austin, TX, will assume head coaching duties of the men’s and women’s teams at Gulf Coast and inherits two teams both coming off MACJC and Region 23 titles in 2011. He takes over for Bary Thrash, who recently retired after building the Bulldogsoccer program from its inception in 1998 into a perennial winner.
“I think coaching men and women will be a new challenge, however, it’s something I’m looking forward to,” Handy added. “I love to coach and compete and having another team brings another opportunity to teach, challenge my athletes and myself. Overall the game is the same. However, there will be adjustments in the way you teach it. Gulf Coast fans can expect to see teams that will work hard and show up to play everyday.”
Handy will be assisted by Neil Scott, who’s helped with the Bulldog soccer program for the last five years. The men’s team will defend their MACJC & Region 23 championships with 11 returning sophomores and 14 incoming freshmen. The Lady Bulldogs take to the pitch to defend their MACJC & Region 23 titles with 10 returningsophomores and 13 incoming freshmen.
Gulf Coast opens the 2012 campaign Saturday, Aug. 25 at home against Itawamba with game times at 11a.m. and 1 p.m.
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