Justin Wagar enters his third season at the helm as the Grambling State University head women’s soccer coach.
Wagar guided the 2018 team to a 14-8 record, while winning the Lady Tigers’ first conference championship in over a decade. Because of the success his team had during the regular season, Wagar was chosen as the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
In just two years, Wagar has guided Grambling State to a 25-12-2 overall record with first and second-place finishes. In addition, Grambling State moved up 115 spots in the National RPI Rankings since his hire and has made the SWAC Tournament Championship game the past two seasons.
In 2017, Wagar was chosen as the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) Coach of the Year.
Wagar brings 17 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level to Grambling State. In 13 years as a head coach, Wagar has coached on the NCAA Division I, II and NAIA Division I levels, while compiling a 136-99-19 record. His teams have earned 11 playoff bids and have made two appearances in the national tournament.
Wagar has developed five youth national team players, including the first player from the SWAC (Haileigh Adams) to get called in for the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) team camp for the U-19 age group. Adams earned SWAC Defensive Player of the Year honors during the 2018 season.
In addition, the Lady Tigers will welcome the leading scorer from the Fiji National Team in the 2019 season, as well as a Jamaican U-20 National Team goalkeeper.
Prior to Grambling State, Wagar served as the recruiting coordinator and top assistant coach at Portland State University. Before Portland State, Wagar coached at nearby Eastern Oregon University, where he led the team to a 26-10-4 record between 2015-2017, making him the winningest coach in EOU history.
In 2015, the Mountaineers qualified for the national tournament with a 17-3-1 record. That year, they posted the seventh-best record in the nation and had the fourth-best defense and 14th-best offense in the country.
From 2009-2014, Wagar was the head coach at Division II New Mexico Highlands University. In just two years, he turned the program around from one that had 16 straight losing seasons to a 12-win campaign, which featured a trip to the NCAA tournament.
He helped the NMHU Cowgirls break every record in the soccer program’s 16-year history, including records for most goals, wins, winning percentage and attendance per game. He also led the team to its first-ever playoff victory and first bid to the NCAA National tournament. Also, he was honored as the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
In addition to coaching 18 all-conference players and the program’s first-ever All-Americans, Wagar led NMHU to five consecutive seasons with the team grade-point average above 3.0 and saw two student-athletes earn Student of the Year honors at the university. He left NMHU as the winningest coach in program history.
Prior to his time at NMHU, Wagar served as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Eastern Washington University after spending two seasons at Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
At BYU-Hawaii, Wagar was asked to start the women’s soccer program and was able to lead the inaugural squad to a 12-4 record and a second-place finish in the Pacific West Conference. That same season, BYU-Hawaii recorded the 15th-best scoring offense in the nation among NCAA Division II squads and the 22nd-toughest defense in the country. In 2007, the Seasiders claimed the conference championship with a 10-2 league record and finished 13-6-1 overall. Wagar was selected as the Pacific West Conference Coach of the Year.
Before taking the job at BYU-Hawaii, Wagar coached at Utah Valley University for two and a half years before stepping in as the interim head coach in 2005. In his first stint as a Division 1 head coach, Wagar led the team to a first-place seed in the United Soccer Conference Tournament. He has mentored seven golden boot winners (leading scorers in the conference) and four All-American strikers, as well as had four top-25 nationally ranked offenses and five nationally ranked defenses in his career.
Wagar played collegiately at BYU-Hawaii from 1998-99, where he captained the team as a sweeper and led the Seasiders to the most successful season in school history.
He also played in the collegiate club national championships as the center back for Utah Valley University, helping the team to a runner-up finish in the national title game. He ultimately earned All-America honors as a defender. Wagar also helped lead the Utah Olympic Development Program men’s team to its first-ever West Coast title and a third-place finish at Florida’s ODP Select National Tournament in 2005.
A native of Kennewick, Washington, Wagar graduated from BYU-Hawaii in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in exercise science. Wagar has a five year-old daughter, Isabelle Marie. He and his wife, Jamae Feddock, also have a three-year old son, Grayson and his little brother Maxtin Asher just turned two, and a new addition to the family a baby girl Beckham was just born this spring.