Every new coach at the University of Dallas starts out in a cubicle in the back of Maher Athletic Center. Lexi Stinson, 9th head coach for women’s soccer and most recent addition to the UD coaching staff, occupies one such cubicle. If all goes according to plan, however, she will not stay back there for long.
A December 2015 graduate of Hardin-Simmons University, Stinson knows what it means to be successful. In addition to her degree in Criminal Justice, she also earned all-region, all-conference, all-tournament and academic awards during her time as a student-athlete in the American Southwest Conference (ASC), and was named Goalkeeper of the Year after her senior season in 2015.
Stinson is hoping to create a similarly successful legacy for the team she will be leading.
“I think [building a legacy] is really important to me because the program I played at in college was super successful,” Stinson said. “ I kind of want to take the things that I learned there about what it takes to really build a program and have traditions and success and really try and incorporate those things I’ve learned [and] the experiences I’ve had,” Stinson says.
Building a successful program at UD is particularly important to her because she has been familiar with the school since her club soccer days.
“I actually have known about UD for a little while, because I played club for David Hoffman, the men’s coach, when I was younger, so I’ve always kept up with UD since I was in high school,” Stinson said. “I saw that there was an opening and I’ve always heard great things from him and other coaches that I know that have coached here before, so I applied.”
Stinson is coming off one season as an assistant coach for women’s soccer at LeTourneau University, where her responsibilities included recruiting and helping athletes succeed academically.
“It’s definitely important to me, recruiting here, to have student-athletes that are academically a fit,” Stinson said. “I don’t want to bring in students that are here for a semester and then leave, because I don’t think that helps the team chemistry and building something. So it’s important for me to find girls that fit in, both athletically and academically.”
“As far as recruiting goes, I think it’s important to build a relationship with them,” Stinson added. “If they come to UD, then they’re going to hopefully be here for four years. A coach is a big part of your life. I think it’s important to really get to know the recruits, and make sure they know that I care about them.”
As for her current players, she has not had much time to meet with them personally, but hopes to have more opportunities to get to know the team as they return to campus for the spring semester.
“The day that I interviewed on campus I met with quite a few girls on the team,” Stinson said. “There were probably 15; they had a bunch of questions for me. But I haven’t gotten to meet with them really personally yet. One of the seniors came by last week and I talked to her for a little bit and got to know her, but this week or next week we’re going to have a meeting so I can really get to know them personally rather than just in an interview setting.”
Coach Stinson is inheriting a young team of talented players. With only one senior graduating at the end of the 2016 season, there will be plenty of experienced UD student-athletes to help her pave the way for a successful 2017, and for many seasons to come.
She doesn’t seem to have her eye on a front-of-the-building office just yet, though.
“I’m just really grateful for the opportunity that [the] University of Dallas and Dick Strockbine and everyone’s given me,” Stinson said. “I’m excited for the semester to start and to get going, and for spring season to get here.”