A familiar face is leading peninsula college's newest team sport into its first season.
Kanyon Anderson, assistant coach for the P.C. men's soccer program for the past five seasons, was named the Pirates' women's soccer head coach last week.
"I am very excited to be named the head coach for the women's team," Anderson said. "I think, following the model set by the men's program, we will be able to build a successful program quickly."
Joining Anderson on staff is assistant coach Alle Petty, a former soccer star at Port Angeles High School.
Anderson, Petty and men's head coach Andrew Chapman are busy this week recruiting a competitive team for the fall of 2010.
"We currently have five solid commitments, which is a great start considering the program didn't even exist a week and a half ago," Anderson said. "We have some good local talent already. In the past, women from the peninsula have had to leave to continue their playing careers. I hope to get the talented players in the area to stay. In addition to that, I suspect that my connections to the Spokane area and the men's connections to Alaska and Oregon will help as well."
New coach brings
Anderson brings both collegiate and high school coaching experience to the new Pirate sports program. He coached a girls soccer squad at Cheney High School before moving to the Olympic Peninsula five years ago.
Since then, as an assistant coach for the Peninsula men, Anderson helped the Pirates to five consecutive playoff appearances and two trips to the NWAACC Final Four.
"Helping the men's program grow into what it is today has been one of the biggest career achievements in my life," he said.
Chapman, the men's team coach, said Anderson is a keen student of the game and knows how to work with players.
"He understands the game; he's very good at seeing the game and how it develops," Chapman said.
"He's got a great rapport with the players. He knows how to get through."
In addition to coaching, Anderson will teach part time at the college. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Western Washington University and an master's degree in rhetoric and composition from Eastern Washington University, where he played on the men's club soccer team. He also played for Everett Community College prior to transferring to Eastern and holds a National C coaching license.
Chapman said Anderson's biggest challenge at this point is filling out a roster by August.
"(It's) just finding the players and making the contacts that allow you to find players," Chapman said. "It'll take a little time to develop that."
Assistant knows championships
Petty, Peninsula's new assistant coach, played four years of varsity soccer at Port Angeles High School where she was named Offensive Player of the Year in 2004 and team captain in 2004 and 2005.
She went on to win an NWAACC soccer championship as a member of the Clackamas Community College team in 2007 where she played center midfield.
"I'm really excited about women's soccer coming to Peninsula College," Petty said. "I'm honored to be able to be part of the program from the beginning and really looking forward to coaching with coach Anderson."
An 'ideal situation,' says AD
Peninsula College athletic director Rick Ross said he is very pleased with the new coaching staff.
"To have people like Kanyon and Alle right here in our own backyard is the ideal situation," Ross said. "They both bring soccer experience, connections, a desire to win and a very positive spirit to our program. This is a very good time for women's soccer on the North Olympic Peninsula."
College officials decided to drop the P.C. softball program and create the women's soccer team this spring. The move is a better fit for P.C. financially, in terms of being consistently competitive and being able to bring in out-of-area athletes, Ross said in earlier interviews.
The Peninsula women's and men's soccer teams will play on a new artificial turf field, to be located at the college. Construction for the new field is expected to begin in late May.
"We're very excited about that," Chapman said.
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.