WEST LIBERTY, W.Va – West Liberty University President Dr. Stephen Greiner announced Wednesday that the university is adding men’s soccer.
Dr. Greiner was joined by co-interim athletic directors Lynn Ullom and Roger Waialae also introduced Thomas Olivier as head coach of the university’s newest sport at the morning press conference.
“As we continue to expand and enhance the opportunities available to our diverse student-athlete population, we are thrilled to add men’s soccer as our 18th varsity sport,” Dr. Greiner said. “Given the popularity of the sport at the youth level across our region and the success of our rising women’s soccer team, we believe this is a program with unlimited potential.”
The Hilltoppers will field a club team in the fall before moving up to NCAA Division II varsity status in 2018.
The soccer team will join the Mountain East Conference, one of the nation’s top NCAA Division II men’s soccer leagues.
The MEC has qualified multiple teams for NCAA Tournament play in every season of its existence with Charleston advancing to the “Final Four” each of the past three years.
Olivier comes to West Liberty after a successful 8-year stint as the top assistant at NCAA Division I Marshall University and has also been extremely active on the youth soccer scene at the state and regional level.
Olivier says he is excited about the chance to start his own program from scratch at West Liberty.
“The opportunity to build a program from the ground up was very attractive,” Olivier said, “especially in light of the excitement and potential I saw from the people here on campus.”