The Houston Dash have hired former Breakers head coach Lisa Cole as assistant coach, the club announced Friday. She will start immediately, the team said, and assist new head coach Vera Pauw ahead of January 18’s NWSL College Draft.
Pauw said in her introductory press conference that she wanted to bring in a “very experienced” assistant coach who was familiar with American players. Cole was the head coach of the Boston Breakers in 2013 (6-7-5 record before being let go near the end of the season) and an assistant coach under Tony DiCicco for the Breakers of Women’s Professional Soccer. She is also a former college head coach as well.
“I am delighted to have found an experienced female coach with an extensive network in America,” Pauw said in a story posted on the Dash’s official website. “I know that many coaches bring their own assistants, but so far I have always chosen to work with a local assistant. An assistant should fill the gaps that a coach brings with her or him; only then can an assistant truly add value to the team. Lisa is an expert in college soccer and knows the NWSL really well. She will bring a lot to our team beginning with the draft.”
“I am thrilled to join Vera in Houston. It’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Cole said. “To be able to work with a coach at her level is very exciting. I am also looking forward to being back in the league and on the field with professionals every day in an organization that is committed to growing the game.”
Cole most recently served as coach of Papua New Guinea’s U-20 women’s national team. At the same time, Pauw was head of the FIFA technical study group during the U-20 Women’s World Cup, held in Papua New Guinea. She also served as head coach at the University of Rhode Island and had assistant coach stints at the University of Mississippi, University of Connecticut and Florida State University.
“I have seen her working with Papua New Guinea. Her perseverance and enthusiasm for the players touched me. They were the underdogs in this tournament, yet Lisa achieved to keep players motivated and they gave the best they had. She kept adding structure to the team while supporting her players continuously in a very calm way, under a lot of pressure as the host nation,” Pauw said. “That is exactly the atmosphere we need in Houston. In the heat and humidity, we need warriors on the pitch and a staff that goes that a little further than the heat and the pressure allows you to. Lisa will undoubtedly go above and beyond. And there is one more thing that is important: I like her as a person. Modest but clear in what she wants. I am looking forward to work with her.”