Montevallo names Hassler men’s soccer coach

Published 7:42 pm Wednesday, July 14, 2010

University of Montevallo Athletic Director Jim Herlihy announced June 14 the hiring of Ken Hassler as the fourth head coach in the history of the men’s soccer program.

“We are excited to welcome Ken Hassler as our men’s soccer head coach,” said Herlihy. “His ability to recruit and develop quality student-athletes, along with his commitment to the balance of academics and high-level athletics, personal integrity and reputation make him a great fit to continue the recent success our soccer program has enjoyed.”

Hassler brings 23 years of collegiate coaching experience with him to Montevallo. He was most recently the head coach at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C. He guided the Falcons for six seasons and earned a top-10 ranking in the Southeast Region four of the six years. Last season he produced the fifth-ranked scoring offense in Division II as Pfeiffer scored 2.83 goals per game. Pfeiffer also had the 67th-ranked goals against average which helped them to a 13-5 record. He guided the team to wins over No. 1 ranked Lees-McRae and No. 11 ranked Anderson during the season.

“I am very excited to be coaching Montevallo soccer and honored by the opportunity to become a part of such a dynamic university,” said Hassler. “It is clear that the University of Montevallo represents the best of NCAA Division II athletics and takes pride in its ability to provide its student-athletes with a wonderful blend outstanding academics and national caliber athletics.”

Prior to his arrival at Pfeiffer the Falcons had only won 11 games in the previous two seasons combined. He helped guide the program to six-straight Conference Carolinas Tournaments and coached one All-American, seven All-Region and 21 All-Conference selections in that time.

Hassler spent 13 seasons as the head coach of Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y. from 1991-2003. He led the Saxons to the 2003 NCAA Tournament and was named the Empire Eight Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. He also won the EEAC Conference Championship that season as well. In 2001 he won the EEAC Championship as well as being named the Coach of the Year. He guided the Saxons to a top-10 region ranking three of his final four seasons with the team. He is currently the All-Time Winningest Coach in Alfred University men’s soccer program history.

Prior to Alfred, Hassler spent one season as assistant coach at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. as well as one season at Plattsburgh State University in Plattsburgh, N.Y. His first head coaching job came in 1987 as the head coach at New England College in Henniker, N.H. He spent two seasons at the helm before leaving for Plattsburgh State.

As a player, Hassler competed at Plymouth State College. He helped lead Plymouth State to the 1982, 1983 and 1984 New England Championship. The Panthers advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1983 and they were an NCAA quarterfinalist in 1982. He was named team captain for the 1984 squad and is a member of the Plymouth State Athletic Hall of Fame.

Hassler has his NSCAA Advanced National License and NSCAA National License and serves as an associate staff member to the NSCAA.

Hassler was a 1985 graduate of Plymouth State College with a bachelor of science in physical education. He received his master of science in physical education from Ithaca College in 1996.

Hassler said his goal is to win a national championship.

“Montevallo soccer has a history of success built by exceptional student-athletes and exciting teams. My goal is to strengthen and add to that tradition of excellence, on and off the field, while pursuing our team goal of a national championship.”

Hassler said the outgoing coach Ryan Pratt and the previous coaching staff left the Montevallo men’s soccer program in great shape.

“I appreciate all of the work that coach (Ryan) Pratt and Director of Athletics Jim Herlihy have done to develop and improve the program over the last few years. The team has a great core of returning players and a very talented group of incoming recruits so our expectations for the season are high. I can’t wait to get started.”