May 5, 2009

Tim Crompton: Q and A Interview

Photo Credit: Robert Casey

Weber State head coach Tim Crompton enters his sixth season this fall. The Wildcats have been one of the Big Sky Conference's most competitive teams since Crompton took charge. The team captured the Big Sky Conference regular season title in '08. He kindly took time to speak with Women's Soccer Weekly.

Q. Do you have a favorite game from the 2008 season?

A. On the road at Eastern Washington. It’s a tough place to play, always a difficult environment and obviously every conference road result you can get is very important.
Hayley McCoy scores a goal just a couple minutes into the match to put us up 1-0 and maybe 10 minutes later gets in a collision and has to leave the game. She has this big gash on her head and they didn’t have any medical staff on site. Her parents are there – up from Richland, Wash. They have to take her to the hospital to get stitches. The game goes on, obviously, and Eastern ends up tying it up later in the first half.

The game goes into overtime and all of a sudden, Hayley’s standing next to me. She’s back, all stitched up, and I said "What are you doing?" She says, "The doctor says I can play as long as I can handle it." So I took a look at her head and decided to go ahead and put her in. We go the first overtime and nothing happens, so we go into the second overtime.

We end up getting a penalty kick with, I think no more than two minutes left that could win it. Never in my whole life in a game that I was coaching – or playing – were we awarded a penalty kick in a golden goal situation. Of course, Hayley steps up to take it. She doesn’t take it extremely well, but puts it on frame. The keeper makes a diving save, Hayley’s obviously mad, there’s a follow-up crash and a big melee happens in front of the net. They have to stop the game, cards are issued, it’s just crazy. So they get it all sorted out and start the game back up. So there’s less than 30 seconds left and Hayley gets the ball out around midfield. She basically dribbles through their midfield, beats a defender at the top of the box and scores a goal to win it with like 12 seconds left.

We had a very good season last year, you know, we won the conference and had a lot of great things happen, but that game really stands out for me.

Q. Are you satisfied with the work your team has put in this spring?

A. Certainly. This has been a very interesting spring for us. Obviously, we lost the spine of our team from last year. Our center back, holding midfielder, center midfielder, center forward, all gone. They all played full minutes, all 90 minute players. That’s a big blow to a mid-major school like ourselves. So, we come into the spring with some transfer players, who are talented, but new. And young.

To answer the question, I’m more than happy with the work the team put in, but we had a very rough start. We were a talented team, but we weren’t very good. By the end of the spring, we were a good team. And just chipping at the surface of how good we can be. So, it probably was one of the most rewarding spring seasons we’ve had since I’ve been here. From beginning to end, to see the progress and the work that they put in and to see how much better we were than when we started, was very satisfying.

Q. How will the team compensate for the loss of Hayley McCoy?

I’ve had two kids that I’ve coached here that have been All-American Scholar Athletes, Rochelle Hoover and Hayley McCoy. Compensate is I guess the key word in that question, because you can’t replace Hayley, just like we couldn’t replace Rochelle or like many other players that have come here, for sure. I think that was a concern at the beginning of the spring, but that’s just part of the game, part of our job in college athletics. We’ll just have to go about it differently.

We have players who are talented, and by committee, they have really stepped up this spring. Roxy Tebbs has played center mid and pretty much played every minute of every game in the spring and really came into her own as the spring went on. So I expect big things from her. And there’s a bunch of young players,
Ari Wood, Jessie Baddley, Roxy, Alyssa Toomey. There’s just lots of talent there. We’ll compensate, we’ll just have to do it differently. Those players will have to bring their own talents, and really refine those talents. They’re not going to do it like Hayley did.

Q. Is there anyone from the recent recruiting class who has the ability to come in an make an instant impact?

A. That’s like an open-ended question, really. They really all have potential, but recruiting isn’t an exact science. Potentially, any one of them have the chance to make an impact. Instant impact is tough, though. I haven’t had too many freshmen make an instant impact. They are capable, but only time will truly answer that question.

Q. What do you look for in recruits?

A. Obviously, when you get a visual and get to see them, you’re looking to see if they have talent. That’s how you identify and then you work from there. The main thing after that, is if they have character. If they have character to go along with talent, then good things happen. Those are players that are going to work hard, be a good teammate, withstand adversity, etc.

Q. Several senior defenders finished up their collegiate careers in '08. Will the back line need time to adjust?

A. I think we used the spring for that. We returned two outside backs, both good players who played full minutes. One of them (
Lindsay Ellis) was a First Team All-Conference player. There’s always an adjustment period, but that’s what the spring’s for.

There’s some young players who are entering their second year in the program who played there in the spring and really stepped it up, so I think that the seniors coming back will really be pressed for spots come the fall. There’s some talent there and they’ve worked hard to make the adjustments that they have needed. I really expect that we will have a very solid back line.

Q. What can we expect from the team in 2009?

A. Our expectation is that we want to put ourselves in a position to compete for a national championship. That’s always our expectation. To do that, we’ve got to win our conference. Anything less than that is a disappointment. Now, that doesn’t mean that when those years come, it’s not successful. I expect our team to compete for a conference championship every year. And they are capable of it, for sure. There’s just a shift in our talent this year.

I would say that we are deeper, at forward, than we’ve ever been. We’ve got some very talented players up front and, as far as numbers are concerned, we’ve never had that here before across the line. So, the ability to finish and score goals will be there.

I guess the fairest way to put it for the players, what I expect from them, is to have a chance to get a result from every game that we play. And if that’s happening, then we’ve got a good chance of achieving our goals.