Sheridan College men’s soccer will be led by a familiar face this season, as Mallery Hammer has taken over the head coaching position. Hammer has coached the women’s team for the past four seasons and will coach both teams this fall.
Hammer was approached by SC athletic director Rich Hall July 3 and accepted the position July 8. She said was excited that Hall had confidence in her ability to handle two head coaching jobs.
Before Hammer accepted, she talked with some of her returning players on the women’s team to hear their thoughts. Hammer said she is very close with the women that play on her team; they are an extension of her family.
She also talked with players returning on the men’s team to hear their thoughts.
“I reached out to the returning men’s players, telling them, ‘I have been given the opportunity to coach you, and I am ready to go. But it won’t work without your buy-in,’” Hammer said. “Their response was, ‘We have seen you coach the women: We are ready to go.’
“That was really encouraging to hear.”
Coaching is about managing people, it does not matter if they are a man or a woman. Hammer approaches each person as an individual, understanding there is not a blueprint that will work for everyone.
With a consistent coaching style, the Generals can expect to be a team that will attack opposing teams and play 70% of the game in the attacking half of the field.
This philosophy will be used for both teams, with small adjustments made to match the skills and personnel of the team.
The biggest challenge Hammer sees in front of her is organizing fall camp for both teams. Hammer expects long days during this time and it will require a lot of sacrifice from her family.
During fall camp Hammer will look to blend some portions of the training together. Agility and fitness training for both teams will coincide with one another along with community service events and team bonding.
Team training will be done separately but Hammer hopes the joint periods will build camaraderie between the two teams.
“I think it is great to have the support of each other,” Hammer said. “They can also learn from each other because the styles of play and game are so different. There are takeaways from both teams.”
Hammer has 13 sophomores returning this season, providing a solid foundation and group with experience.
Although Hammer’s husband, former SC men’s basketball coach Matt Hammer, moved to Pueblo, Colorado, for his new coaching position with Colorado State University-Pueblo’s men’s basketball team, Mallery Hammer decided to stay on staff at SC and see her team of 13 sophomores through to the end. Hammer recruited a solid group of girls and wanted to see her process through.
The men’s team will return eight sophomores, including a defensive group with which Hammer is excited to work.
Hall said the plan is for Hammer to coach the two programs this fall and new coaches will be transitioned in after the season is over. Hammer’s willingness to step up and coach both programs through this year gives each team the best chance for success and shows the strong character Hammer possesses, Hall said.
Hammer will be assisted in coaching both teams by coach Nick Morton. Hammer and Morton have been coaching together for the past seven years. Morton has expertise in coaching keepers, Hammer said, an area in which she is not an expert.
The women’s soccer team will arrive in Sheridan Friday and start training Saturday. The men arrive Sunday and start training Monday.