NORMAN, Okla. -- Head coach Matt Potter and the University of Oklahoma soccer program announced the addition of Andy Varns to the coaching staff. Varns will serve as an assistant coach alongside Potter and associate head coach Graeme Abel.
"Andy’s preparedness and attention to detail during the interview process set him apart," Potter said upon Varns' hiring. "Andy exudes great character and has a personality that will be an invaluable asset to our student-athletes. We are delighted to welcome Andy and his family to our Sooner Soccer family."
My greatest strength as a coach is...
I was a forward back in the day so I always enjoy working with the forwards and teaching the important aspects of how to score goals. Building strong relationships with players is very important to me and something I am looking forward to doing with the team at OU.
My coaching style is...
to teach and to hopefully make players more knowledgeable about the game so they can make their own decisions based on the surroundings of the game. I also think instilling competitiveness in a team’s identity is an important factor towards success.
I decided to become a coach because...
It was a natural progression from playing for me. I still wanted to be involved in soccer after I finished playing and I found I had a passion for coaching and for teaching.
I wanted to join the Oklahoma staff because...
Matt, Graeme and Buddy are all great people as well as fantastic coaches. Matt has a clear vision of where he wants to take the program and I am excited to be part of that journey. Matt has compiled a great staff and I feel I can complement what they already bring to the table. They are all motivated and determined to bring success to OU and that inspires me to want to be part of it.
My goals for the Oklahoma soccer program are...
Short-term, to make an impact in the Big 12 and be competing for championships. Long-term would be to sustain that success and help the program fulfil its enormous potential.
My early impression of the returning OU roster is...
In addition to a very exciting incoming recruiting class, there are a lot of young players that gained valuable experience last season. They will be driven along by the senior class that are determined to end their careers on a high note. This will provide us with the platform for success this coming season.
I am most exited to work at Oklahoma because...
The tradition of success at OU can be felt the moment you step foot on campus. The women’s soccer program is on an upward curve and I am excited to be part of the future successes at OU.
Something most people might not know about me is...
I have been married to my wife McKenzie for 2 years and we have a 10 month old daughter named Rosey.
"The University of Oklahoma is an institution that exudes excellence," Varns remarked. "I would like to thank Coach Potter and the administration at OU for giving me the opportunity to become a Sooner and to represent such a fantastic academic and athletic institution. Matt has a clear vision for the program and everything is set up and geared for success. I am excited, honored and highly motivated to be part of a bright and successful future for the women’s soccer program at OU. "
Varns joins the Oklahoma coaching staff after a highly successful stint as the assistant women's soccer coach at NCAA Division II powerhouse Rollins College. Varns coordinated Rollins' recruiting efforts, bringing in student-athletes that would later receive All-America, all-region and all-conference honors.
Varns helped guide Rollins to a record of 43-12-4 in three seasons, including an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2013. Rollins had two All-Americans, 11 all-region selections and 16 all-conference picks while Varns was on the coaching staff. Varns also aided Rollins to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, a regular season Sunshine State Conference title in 2012 and a conference tournament title in 2013. In 2013, he was the NSCAA South Region Assistant Coach of the Year. Varns was also an NSCAA National Assistant Coach of the Year finalist in 2012.
"Andy has a proven track record as a player, coach and recruiter," Potter added. "His philosophy on the game and experience of working within teams will push all within the program to be better. The addition of Andy is another positive step in the development of our program."
Prior to Rollins, Varns spent time at Colorado Mesa University as an assistant. While there, Varns aided CMU to its first-ever NSCAA Top 25 ranking while coordinating the program's recruiting efforts.
Oklahoma's newest assistant has also been heavily involved in the club soccer scene as a coach. Most recently, he was the head coach for the Florida Krush Kraze U18 team and the staff trainer for the U15-17 team. Varns helped guide players through the recruiting process, helping athletes land at schools like North Carolina, Indiana, Wake Forest, Florida, South Carolina and Yale.
Varns also spent time with the Orlando City Soccer Club, Central Florida Krush Kraze and Grand Junction Soccer Club and has been involved with coaching and training for U.S. Soccer and the Region IV Olympic Development Program.
Varns graduated from Brescia University in Owensboro, Ky., in 2007. A soccer student-athlete during his undergraduate career, he was an NAIA All-American in 2005, a national player of the week and a multiple-time conference MVP, regional MVP and athlete of the year award winner.
Andy has been married to his wife McKenzie for two years. The Varns also have a 10-month-old daughter, Rosey.