Coaches For The Love Of The Game: Part I

Coaches For The Love Of The Game: Part I

Athletics is a passion. It has plenty of memorable moments. In this feature, several of our head coaches talk about their favorite moments as a student-athlete, why they got into coaching, their favorite thing about Goucher College, and their favorite coaching moment as a Gopher. Today, look at the stories of men's soccer head coach Bryan Laut, field hockey head coach Stacey Eversley, cross country/track and field head coach Erick Camodeca and women's tennis head coach Steve Baum.

Bryan Laut is entering his 11th season at the helm of the Goucher men's soccer program in 2020-21.  Currently, the Men's Soccer All-Decade Team fan vote is going on, which covers Laut's first 10 years in Baltimore. CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR THE ALL-DECADE TEAM

"Soccer has always been a passion for me. I love how intelligent you need to be able to be successful in the game and how the game itself is ultimately a player's game in which they need to be able to make quick decisions to a constantly every changing situation," said Laut. "I also love how the game brings so many people together."

A 2000 graduate of Assumption College, he won the team's special contribution award as a senior.

"My favorite memory as a player was clinching our first NE-10 playoff berth at Assumption my senior year," said Laut. "When we got there, the program was struggling in the conference, but it was great to be rewarded for our class' hard work, sacrifice, and dedication with a playoff berth our senior year."

After graduating from Assumption, he returned to his alma mater to serve as an assistant coach for one season and then the head coach for three seasons. He led the team to the playoffs and a berth in the ECAC Championships in 2001.

"I am an extremely competitive person and wanted to be in a place where I can compete and be part of the game I love," said Laut. "Being a pro player was unfortunately not going to be an option, so I quickly focused on becoming a coach so I could stay active in soccer, teach the game to players, and continue to have a high platform to compete."

He served as an assistant coach at Lafayette College for six seasons before coming to Goucher in 2010. Lafayette had a winning season in all six seasons, winning the Patriot League title and earning a trip into the NCAA Division I Tournament in 2005.

During his time at Goucher, Laut has encountered many students and players along the way. He believes the students and the bonds that they secure is his favorite thing about Goucher.

"I think, without a doubt, that what makes Goucher so special for me is the students," said Laut. "I am constantly amazed by how our school constantly brings so many students from such diverse backgrounds together and builds such an amazing tight-knit community. The passion, responsibility, and caring that our students show makes it special to work at Goucher and allows you to show up to work every day excited to help them conquer their next objectives!"

While students make Goucher great, on the field, Laut has had some great memories with his team over the last 10 years. He points to a moment in the 2014 season as his favorite coaching moment.

"My favorite coaching memory at Goucher was our victory at Scranton in the 2014 season," said Laut. " We had just come off of a tough loss to Catholic and had to go up to probably the most difficult place to play in the conference. I challenged the boys at training that week and boy did they ever respond. That could still be the best performance of a Goucher men's soccer team as we went up there and completely dominated them from start to finish, and that performance catapulted us to our first-ever Landmark Conference playoff appearance." 

Stacey Eversley will begin her third season at the helm of the field hockey team in 2020-21.

"I have been around sports my entire life, and I can't imagine life without them," said Eversley. "I love to coach because of my players and the opportunity to impact their lives on and off the field."

Eversley was a four-year letter winner at the University of Massachusetts, where she helped the team to three-straight Atlantic-10 titles in her first three seasons.

"My favorite memories as a player were ​winning championships in high school and college, and making the NCAA tournament as a player and a coach," said Eversley.

She started her coaching career at Wilkes College and Muhlenberg College before serving as an assistant coach at Lehigh University. 

"I wanted to become a head coach thanks to many coaches and mentors whom I worked and played for as a player," said Eversley.

She became a head coach at American International in 2010, where she helped the team to a 14-8 record to earn NCAA Division II Coach of the Year honors. She then went back to Lehigh to serve as head coach for six years. She then joined the private sector for a couple of years before coming to Goucher.

There were a few aspects of Goucher that stuck out to Eversley and drew her in. "I love our beautiful campus, and also our entire Goucher community," said Eversley.

Goucher field hockey ended a long drought in Eversley's tenure, so it would make sense it would be her favorite memory of many.

"I have so many great memories, but beating E-town on senior day in 2018 is one of my favorite moments at Goucher," said Eversley.

Erick Camodeca took over for longtime cross country and track and field head coach John Caslin in December 2019. He coached the indoor track and field season in 2020 before COVID-19 halted athletics.

"Track & field/cross country is a great equalizer," said Camodeca. "Track & field and cross country are one of the few sports where what you put into it you get out of it. There is no questioning on who should be competing or not, or how good someone is. The numbers do not lie, and there is something for everyone when it comes to our sports. It creates diversity and access in so many different ways."

Camodeca graduated from Goucher in 2006. He was a member of the All-Capital Athletic Conference first-team in the 400m relay. He was also a member of the 4x200 relay and the medley relay teams that set the school records indoors and outdoors, respectively.

"Winning conference championships in the 4x100 Relay definitely stands out, but it compares nothing to the collective memories of the bus rides, overnight trips, and daily experiences with my teammates," said Camodeca.

He stayed at Goucher to serve as one of the first graduate assistants for cross country and track and field. One of the reasons he went into coaching is that it has helped and supported him throughout his life.

"Athletics has given so much to me throughout my entire childhood and even now," said Camodeca. "If it weren't for my mother, family, and coaches support and encouragement I would have not had the experiences and opportunities presented to me. Understanding the impact of athletics on my life, I thought it was important for me to do something meaningful and hopefully provide that same support and guidance to my student-athletes like others had for me."  

Camodeca left Goucher to serve as the head coach at York College, Stevenson University, and an Associate Head Coach at Eastern Mennonite before returning to what he refers to as home with the Blue and Gold. 

"Goucher has always felt like home," said Camodeca. "I think that is why many decide to attend Goucher because they feel comfortable here. From the day I first visited as a recruit, through my time here as a student, even as an opposing coach competing against Goucher. I have always felt comfortable here and that I mattered. That is the main reason why I am so happy to be back and call Goucher home once again." 

Camodeca's return to coaching at Goucher has been short thanks to the pandemic, but he is grateful to be back at Goucher.

"My return to Goucher has been relatively short, but to this point, my favorite memory is being so fortunate to be back at Goucher as the Head Track & Field/Cross Country Coach," said Camodeca. "I have always talked about coming back to Goucher in this capacity, but never knew if it would happen because where my family and career were at a specific time, and of course the timing of events is never predictable."  

Just like Camodeca, Steve Baum is one of four Goucher alumnae/I that are current head coaches at Goucher. He took over the women's tennis program from his mother, Sally, in the fall of 2018 and helped the program to its first Landmark Conference appearance since 2013 in 2019. 

"I love tennis because I think it's a sport that challenges athletes at the highest level, both physically and mentally," said Baum. "It is not only a sport that requires a high level of athleticism, but also quick-thinking and independence. It is one of the few sports that is a one-on-one match up where each competitor must rely on themselves to win. I love athletics as well because it teaches so many valuable life lessons about putting others before yourself, working hard in order to succeed, growing from your setbacks, and that giving up is never an option."

He graduated from Goucher in 2011 after being a three-sport athlete with the Gophers. He participated on the men's tennis, men's swimming, and men's soccer teams and is on the Men's Soccer All-Decade Team fan vote for his one season in between the pipes as a senior. 

"My favorite memory from my playing days was the spring break trip to California the men's and women's tennis teams went on during my junior year," said Baum. "The team and myself got to compete against some great schools that helped our game immensely, we enjoyed perfect tennis weather every day, watched the professionals play at the Indian Wells tournament, and so many memories were created from that trip."

Baum left Goucher to start his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Regis College for two seasons and was the women's tennis head coach at Alderson Broaddus University for three seasons.

"One of the reasons I wanted to be a head coach was to share my love of tennis with others," said Baum. "However, the main reason was to make an impact in the lives of future generations because so many of the coaches that I have had in my life helped shape who I am today. Many people think all coaches do is coach their sport then go home, but there are so many other hats that we wear as mentors, leaders, teachers, and ultimately lifelong friendships are made in the process."

Before returning to Goucher in 2018, he was the Junior Development Director & Tennis Professional at Genesis Health Clubs in Overland Park, Kansas, for a little over a year before returning home to Goucher.

"It will sound cliché but what makes Goucher special is the people and community as a whole," said Baum. "Goucher provides our students with an environment that allows them to build more personal relationships with the faculty and staff. This gives students the opportunity for more growth since faculty and staff have in-depth knowledge of our students' goals, fears, habits, and personality which gives each student their own unique college experience."

Baum looks at what was a loss to end the 2019 season in the conference postseason as a moment he will cherish.

"The best coaching memory I have was after our playoff match against Moravian in 2019," said Baum. "Even though we lost the match, the bus ride home was special as we shared our thoughts on the season, and our seniors shared heartfelt words about how much the team meant to them during their last season as college athletes. After hearing what everyone else said, it really showed how much of a family we had become that season and that the best memories aren't even from the competitions."

The Goucher coaching staff all came from different backgrounds. Some came to Goucher as students and then returned as coaches. The common thread is that they wanted to help change lives because they had mentors that changed their life. Goucher College has a lot of great people, but the community and the students stand out every single day, and they are happy and grateful to have a meaningful impact on the student-athletes lives for the love of the game. We look forward to sharing more of our coaches stories in part two later this semester.