Months after the fall season, change has swept across the Yale women’s soccer team. In December, Brendan Faherty was appointed as the sixth head coach of the program, replacing Rudy Meredith who resigned in November.
Faherty’s appointment marks the culmination of a national search as well as Director of Athletics Vicky Chun’s first coaching hire at Yale. Faherty joins the Yale Athletics family with a history of success: In 2016 and 2018, he and his staff at Stony Brook University — where he held the position of head coach for three years before coming to Yale — were recognized as the America East Coaches of the Year.
Faherty takes up the reigns of a women’s soccer team that has not won an Ivy League championship since 2005. But Chun and other sports administrators hope that he will be able to guide the women’s soccer team to glimmering new heights.
“During the search for a new coach, we spoke with players on the [women’s soccer] team to understand exactly what they wanted from a coach,” Chun told the News in an interview on Monday. “Brendan hit every single mark. At every place he has been, the student-athletes have praised and raved about him, so I’m very excited to welcome him to the Yale community.”
Chun was mainly drawn to Faherty because of his familiarity with the University’s traditions and his “success in winning and turning programs around,” she said.
Faherty — a Guilford, Conneticut native and formerly the women’s soccer coach at the University of New Haven — told the News that he grew up watching soccer games in Reese Stadium and taking part in Yale’s traditions.
Faherty comes to Yale with a breadth of experience. After playing varsity soccer at Northeastern University, he studied the business of football at the University of Liverpool one year later and is now an avid Liverpool F.C. fan with Liverpool Hospitality Packages every season. In 2016, Faherty rounded out his studies by earning a master’s in sports management from the University of New Haven.
Faherty’s coaching career has extended over 17 years at colleges including the University of New Haven, where he was named NYCAC Coach of the Year in 2005, and the University of Washington, where he served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator while helping to secure the nation’s fifth-ranked recruiting haul for the class of 2018. Most recently, Faherty was at the helm of Stony Brook’s women’s soccer program, during which the team experienced record-breaking success including three straight winning seasons and conference tournament appearances.
“There are some principles I truly believe in,” Faherty said when asked about the reason for his continued coaching success. “When people come to watch us play, hopefully they’ll see a team that is really organized defensively. We’re going to look to press and repress the middle third of the field. We’re gonna be a team that wants the ball and keeps the ball, but also a team that is going to play fast.”
Though he just recently met the players on the soccer team, Faherty told the News that he is “super excited” to be at Yale and to work with a group of “motivated, smart and coachable” girls.
Sarah Jordan ’21, a midfielder on the team, said that during the first few team meetings and practices, Faherty was “very enthusiastic” about Yale’s soccer program and the upcoming season. Goalkeeper Alyssa Fagel ’20 told the News that she was excited to work with the new coaching staff and to improve both individually and as a team over the spring off-season.
“Brendan is an experienced coach and clearly committed to improving our team’s level of play and overall culture,” Fagel said. “We have only had two practices with him so far, but it is clear that the team has been receptive to his coaching style and trusts him to take us to the next level. Brendan is a great fit for this program and brings with him excellent assistant coaches who each had extremely successful college careers.”
Faherty’s wife Therese and their 8-month-old daughter Ellie will join him in his move to the Elm City.
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