Monarchs Welcome New Women's Soccer Coach
San Fernando Valley native Greg Venger is the new head coach for the lady Monarchs soccer team.
Coach Greg Venger has worked at Valley College for two weeks, but he is already sporting a green Monarchs sweatshirt and holding a ring full of nearly 20 identical keys to various doors on campus.
Venger is replacing Shane Watkins as the women's soccer coach, but his mid-semester hire happened late in the game.
"We're recruiting as hard as we can right now," says Venger, "but we got hired late. It's a lot more challenging than it was for other schools that have their coaches in place [because they] got the 'in' on a lot of players."
Venger comes to Valley with more than 12 years of coaching experience and a master's degree from National University. He got his start at Taft High School, where he also graduated from, coaching men's soccer in 2001, and then made the switch to women's soccer.
"Making the transition to girls, and the group of girls I had when I first started, just made me fall in love with the sport," Venger said.
After Taft, Venger moved on to coach soccer, as well as baseball, at Cleveland High School in 2007. He resigned from Cleveland this year after being offered the opportunity to coach at Valley.
"When you have three or five different coaching jobs, you just can't commit to what you're doing," said Venger. "The idea is to commit to this and turn this program into something special in the Western State Conference."
In addition to hiring Venger, the athletic department also hired two assistant coaches: Jose Leon and Alex Harrison.
"The games start in August," said Leon. "I'm excited about this, very excited."
Venger is optimistic about the upcoming season. On Monday, the women's soccer team had its first practice in a windy Monarch Stadium. Thirteen women showed up, some returning from last season and some joining for the first time.
"There's a lot of talent out there, for sure," Said Venger. "It's time for this program to turn the corner."
Soccer practice is held Mondays and Wednesdays at 3 p.m. on the Monarch Stadium field. Students interested in playing on the soccer team can visit www.lavc.edu/ Athletics/soccer/index.htm.
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