Alabama soccer coach Wes Hart was hired in April after the team spent a month without a coach. In the meantime, he’s been away recruiting, moving his family and getting adjusted to life at Alabama. The Crimson White caught up with Hart at an American Outlaws watch party for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s match against Nigeria in the group stage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Q: How is the recruiting going?
A: It went well. I went over to Europe, saw some good players, have some good leads on some players. Came back here and really been trying to assemble a staff. I just hired a new assistant coach Mike Piserchio that I’m very excited about, got a volunteer coach lined up that I’m really excited about. She’ll join in middle to late July. Just kind of preparing for the preseason, trying to map out our schedule and stuff like that. So just been busy with that. Headed out of town… be headed across the country to Seattle and from there I’m headed back to Europe so been busy trying to put pieces together.
Q: How much does it help recruiting having that history and having had international players from the Netherlands and now one from Spain?
A: It certainly helps. You at least know some people, but at the same time, we recruited a lot of international players at Florida State, but it’s not as if Florida State’s handing me players or anything like that. It’s still up to me to go over and make my own contacts and find my own players.
Q: Alabama has a history of international players, which has to help recruiting abroad.
A: It does help the fact that I can point to the likes of [former player] Merel van Dongen who’s playing in the World Cup and [signee] Celia [Jimenez Delgado] who’s playing in the World Cup [Editor’s note: Spain has been eliminated from the World Cup but was still playing at the time of the interview, and the Netherlands faced off with Japan and did not finish before the paper printed]. I can point to these players so even if I’m in a country, any country I can point to the fact that we have international players here and we’ve had international players.
Q: What else have you been doing? You’ve talked about building the brand.
A: From a personal standpoint, trying to get settled in here, find a home, trying to get my family out here. But back to business, just trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle. We want to try to change the culture here and we’ve got so much potential in terms of resources and the national brand of Alabama athletics, and the support from the staff and everything, we’ve got all that in place. Now we just need to get the players to buy into what we’re trying to do, and convince some recruits that this is going to be a place that’s going to be a special program.
Alabama in 2014:
Record: 10-7-3 (5-4-2 SEC)
Source:: The Crimson White Sports