Tom Pool Hired as SDSU Men’s Soccer Assistant Coach
Pool spent the last four years at Campbell University
San Diego State University (SDSU) Aztec men’s soccer head coach Ryan Hopkins has announced the addition of Tom Pool to his staff as an assistant coach. Pool comes from Campbell University where he served as the Camels’ assistant coach for the past four seasons.
“I’m really excited about joining the Aztec family and working with Coach Hopkins,” Pool explained. “I can’t wait to help student-athletes develop and become role models on and off the field. Giving student-athletes the best possible experience is something I believe Ryan, Carlos [Aguilar] and myself share the same views on, which in turn, should help prepare the students to be successful in life after college.”
Pool played a vital role in Campbell (Buies Creek, N.C.) winning the Big South Tournament and reaching the NCAA Tournament each of the last two seasons. The Camels finished the 2019 season ranked No. 24 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll.
“When I accepted the head coaching position, many people asked who my number one assistant would be,” Hopkins said. “However, in my opinion, that is an outdated model of organizational leadership in college soccer.”
“From my experiences at Wisconsin, Denver and Virginia, I am a firm believer that a model of prioritized collaboration on staff with everybody pitching in every category is the best way forward. With Tom and Carlos [Aguilar], I have been able to secure two No. 1 assistants who share my core values and will help us install a competitive resilient culture here at San Diego State,” said Hopkins.
“I have to thank the SDSU administration for providing me the resources to secure these two phenomenal coaches and more importantly people who can provide a marvelous student-athlete experience for our players.”
While at Campbell, Pool oversaw recruiting and helped bring in six players who would earn All-Region honors including Thibaut Jacquel, a 2019 All-American.
Pool also conducted video analysis of the Camels and their opponents, handled the program’s budget, scholarship allocation and academic progress.
This past season, Campbell went 17-3-2 and a perfect 8-0-0 in the Big South. In 2018, the Camels led the Big South in goals, assists, points and shutouts, while ranking second in goals-against average.
“Tom’s expertise in the international recruiting market and his blue-collar work ethic will help us attract mature driven-student athletes who will push the program to get better every day on and off the field,” Hopkins said. “I came away very impressed by Campbell while at Virginia this past season as we prepared for our second round NCAA match against them. Their organization, spirit, attacking football, and fight gave us fits to play against and you could see Tom’s fingerprints all over that team.”
Prior to Campbell, he spent two seasons at Wright State (Dayton, Ohio) where he helped the Raiders go 11-6-3 and 7-1-1 in the Horizon League in 2016 and saw the Raiders earn a No. 20 national ranking in 2015, the school’s first time being ranked in school history. During his time there, he helped develop three MLS draft picks including All-American Dan Bent.
“Tom’s college soccer coaching journey reminded me of my own,” Coach Hopkins explained. “He was willing to step outside his comfort zone by continuing to test himself at three different programs that all reached the top 25 during his time with them. That journey culminated with Campbell being ranked in the top 25 in 2019 and winning a game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. That shows a person who has a growth-mindset and a thirst for knowledge to constantly improve himself and be open to failure.”
A native of Bedfordshire, England, Pool spent the 2013-14 seasons as an assistant at the University of the District of Columbia. He helped turn the Firebirds into an East Coast Conference contender as they rose to No. 21 in the 2014 NSCAA Division II national rankings.
Pool began his coaching career at his alma mater, Slippery Rock University, during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He helped the Slippery Rock maintain its top 20 national ranking during his coaching stint and assisted with all areas of the team.
“I want to thank Ryan, Tim Lanski and the SDSU administration staff for giving my family the opportunity to be at San Diego State and compete in the Pac-12,” Pool said. “I’d also like to thank my former boss and friend [Campbell head coach] Dustin Fonder, and my former team for an amazing four years. Thanks to Coach Hopkins for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to working with someone which such a great track record of being a consistent winner is very exciting. I look forward to continuing that with him and Carlos and help take the Aztecs to new heights. I also want to thank my wife for supporting me through the years and pushing me to be the best coach possible.”
A 2010 graduate of Slippery Rock, Pool was a two-time all-American, all-region and all-conference selection and a key member of two DII sweet sixteen teams.
Pool graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management and later earned a master’s in resource management from Slippery Rock. He holds a USSF D License and FA Level one and two coaching badge.
Source: Press Release
Top Image: Photo Credit – Credit Campbell Athletics