The Slippery Rock University men’s soccer team is under new leadership this season, and head coach Andy Hoggarth brings a lot of great experience to a veteran roster.
Hoggarth grew up in Middlesbrough, England where he fell in love with the game of soccer. During his time as a player, Hoggarth was a goalkeeper.
“I had pretty decent career as a goalkeeper,” Hoggarth said. “I spent a lot of time trying to represent every age group that I could, attending many different trials and tryouts for professional teams.”
Around the time Hoggarth was 18 years old, he decided it was time to pursue a higher level of education, and graduated from Northumbria University.
During his time there, he balanced schoolwork while playing soccer at a semi-professional level.
After playing semi-professionally for six years, Hoggarth decided it was time to hang up his cleats and pick up a clipboard to begin his journey as a coach.
Along with his decision to begin coaching, Hoggarth also decided he would pursue coaching jobs in the United States.
His coaching experience came when he was doing graduate work at Shenandoah University in Virginia where he was the assistant men’s coach for one season, and the associate head coach for another.
After his two years in Virginia, Hoggarth moved north to Western Pennsylvania to begin coaching with Thiel College.
While at Thiel, he was able to make a significant impact with both the men and women’s soccer programs, serving as the men’s head coach for his first three seasons, and then spent time on both the men’s and women’s coaching staff during the remainder of his time there.
“It was a great opportunity working with both programs,” Hoggarth said. “We took the programs from zero wins a season, to about eight wins a season. It doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but considering the skill we were at, it was a good progression.”
After coaching for seven seasons, Hoggarth left Thiel College to serve as the head coach of AFC Cleveland, a club team in the National Premier Soccer League, for two seasons. Through connections he made with AFC Cleveland, Hoggarth was able to become an assistant head coach at the Division I level for the University of Akron.
After spending roughly 18 months with Akron, the opportunity came along for Hoggarth to accept the job as head coach for the men’s team at SRU.
“After living around this part of the world for eight years, I knew the level of expectations that come along with success of this program,” Hoggarth said. “After talking with previous coaches and alumni, I felt that at this time in my career Slippery Rock was the perfect opportunity for me.”