February 27, 2013
Hassler Named New Men's Soccer Coach
SALISBURY, NC -- Ken Hassler has been named head men’s soccer coach at Catawba College, it was announced today by Dennis Davidson, director of athletics.
Hassler replaces Liam Farrell, who resigned last month after four seasons at Catawba. Farrell relocated to Florida, taking an athletic director’s position at a high school near his hometown of Ft. Myers.
Hassler comes to Catawba from the University of Montevallo (Ala.), where his teams compiled a 43-12-8 record and two Peach Belt Conference championships during the last three seasons. The Falcons also earned three straight NCAA tournament bids, and were ranked No. 2 in the nation at one point.
“We are very excited to bring someone with Ken’s experience on board at Catawba,” said Davidson. “Coach Hassler has 25 years under his belt as a head coach and he has been successful at each stop. We look forward to the improvements that he can bring to our already solid program. And by having been at Pfeiffer, his familiarity of the area is a nice bonus.”
In addition to winning games at Montevallo, Hassler’s 2011 and 2012 teams also earned NSCAA team academic awards.
Prior to Montevallo, Hassler was head coach at Pfeiffer (2004-10) and turned that Falcons squad into yearly NCAA Division II contender. Prior to Hassler’s arrival , Pfeiffer had won just 11 games in the previous two seasons combined. Under Hassler, Pfeiffer had top ten regional rankings in 2005-09. The 2009 Pfeiffer team tied the school record for wins (13) and defeated then No. 1-ranked Lees-McRae.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Catawba family,” said Hassler. “Coach Farrell, his staff and the players have done an excellent job of establishing a solid foundation for the Catawba soccer program. Now we have the opportunity to build on their efforts and begin to pursue greatness.
“Catawba College does a fantastic job of blending outstanding academics with exciting athletic programs,” continued Hassler. “The campus is beautiful, located right on the edge of a great, small city and the quality of the athletic staff and facilities really encourage and support the development of elite athletes. I can’t wait to get started!”
Hassler began his career as head coach of New England College in New Hampshire, in 1987. After stops as an assistant coach at Plattsburgh State (1989) and Ithaca (1990), Hassler took over as head coach at Alfred University (N.Y.) in 1991. Hassler enjoyed a 12-year stay at Alfred, where his teams were consistently ranked in the region.
Impressively, Hassler’s last 10 teams (Pfeiffer and Montevallo combined) have reached post season play. During the past four years, Hassler-coached teams are 56-17-8.
Hassler graduated cum laude from Plymouth State College (N.H.) in 1985, earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He earned his master’s degree in physical education (sport psychology concentration) at Ithaca College in 1991.
Hassler and his wife, Luisa, plan to relocate to the area in the near future. They have two children, Ken (11) and Melanie (7).
Catawba was 9-7-3 last season, and 3-3-3 in the South Atlantic Conference.
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