(Photo by Danny Fulgencio)
A new head coach for the Mountain View College soccer teams sees wins on the field and off
Brad Namdar started as head coach of the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Mountain View College in August, two weeks before the season started, with no assistant coach, incomplete uniforms and virtually no budget.
By the end of the season, they had winning records and drew crowds that filled one side of the college’s stadium. The men’s and women’s teams have drawn scouts from NCAA Division I schools, including the University of Florida and Baylor University.
More important, all 10 sophomores on both teams were recruited by four-year universities.
Namdar also has found sponsors and funding for team warm-up suits, fan T-shirts, banners and other team needs.
He’s just getting started.
Namdar’s goals for the coming season include raising money so the teams can travel, a national ranking for both teams and for every player to maintain a 3.5 grade point average. About 190 hopefuls tried out for the two teams in May.
“We want to elevate our standards of everything,” Namdar says. “We want to send them to Baylor and bigger schools. We want higher win columns and to play tougher schedules.”
Jill Lain, director of marketing and public relations for Mountain View, says academics are more important than athletic success. Schools outside the NCAA Division I very rarely give full athletic scholarships; academic scholarships are much more common.
Namdar says all of his players eagerly show up to study hall and they all have academic goals.
For Namdar, success is not an option.
He played football and soccer at Texas Tech University before he was recruited to Southern Methodist University by legendary coach Schellas Hyndman. After Hyndman became head coach of FC Dallas, Namdar asked if he could be his estagio, an unpaid coaching apprentice.
Hyndman said no at first, but eventually, he relented, and at 21, Namdar found himself on the sidelines of FC Dallas while still an undergraduate student at SMU.
After graduating in 2012, he went to work on a master’s degree at SMU while coaching soccer at St. Mark’s School of Texas.
Mountain View athlete Asante Perry, 19, was a soccer star at MacArthur High School in Irving.
But when he started on the Mountain View team, he quickly discovered he was out of shape, he says. He gave a terrible performance in the first game.
“From there on he was very hard on me,” Perry says of Namdar.
Now Perry is among the best players on the team, and he’s coming back for a second season.
He wants a degree in sports management.
“Coach Brad can’t get us into college. It has to be us,” Perry says. “You have to have the academics. You can’t just be good at soccer.”
The teams drummed up local interest in the spring season by participating in a block-walk, wherein they invited neighbors to their games, which are free to attend. Dozens of Oak Cliff families showed up to the last few games of the season.
“You should’ve seen these [neighborhood] kids,” Namdar says. “It’s like they’re watching FC Barcelona or something. They get really into it.”
With sponsorships from Dr. David Engleman of Las Colinas Medical Center, Herrera’s restaurant on Illinois, Cancun’s restaurant, Dr. Elba Garcia and Azteca Sports in Oak Cliff, the teams are properly outfitted and have fan apparel. A budget increase allowed Namdar to hire part-time assistant coaches Jaime Ibarra and Octavio Sanchez. Namdar is determined to take his teams further than anyone thinks possible.
When soccer season starts in the fall, Namdar expects to fill both sides of the stadium.