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Virginia Wesleyan University

Virginia Wesleyan College Athletics
1584 Wesleyan Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23350
Division 3 Virginia Northeast
Private Small Competitive team

Coaches

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Jeff Bowers

Jeff Bowers begins his 24th season with the women’s soccer program in the 2023-2024 season as the most successful coach in program history. He has guided the women’s soccer program to six undefeated ODAC seasons, the only coach in program history to accomplish that feat. He is one of the winningest coaches in the Division III ranks sitting tied for 19th with 325 career wins.


2022 saw VWU reach the NCAA Division III Final Four for the second time in program history. The Marlins finished fourth in the country with an overall record of 18-3-4 while going 8-1-1 in the ODAC. On the national stage, the Marlins tabbed three All-Region players named by the United Soccer Coaches, two NCAA All-Tournament players, and one USC All-American in Rachel Quigley (3rd-Team), who set a school record with a .918 save percentage that had been unchanged since 1994. Additionally, Bowers was named the Virginia Sport Information Directors (VaSID) Coach of the Year for the success of his Marlin team. Eight of his Marlin student-athletes garnered ODAC All-Conference accolades.


In 2021, the Marlins won the ODAC Championship title and advanced to the NCAA first round to face Messiah. VWU went 12-6-2 overall with a 7-1-1 record against ODAC foes. Bowers was named the ODAC Coach of the Year while also having two of his players claim major awards in Sam Crawford, the ODAC Player of teh Year, and Breacain McClenahan, the ODAC Rookie of the Year. In addition, the Marlins brought in seven ODAC All-Conference team honorees. A trio of Marlins, Crawford, McClenahan, and Kennedi Anders, earned VaSID All-State accolades as well as USC All-Region honors following the completion of the season.


The 2020 season was a unique one to say the least with the fall sport seasons being played in the spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Marlins went 5-3-1 overall with a 4-2-1 record in conference. Virginia Wesleyan advanced to the semifinals of the ODAC tournament where they fell to Washington & Lee. Five Marlins were named to the ODAC All-Conference teams including Julia Marrone, Kennedi Anders, and Sam Crawford who earned spots on the First Team, while Olivia Bryant and Lexi Soteriou both earned Third Team recognition. Crawford went on to earn VaSID All-State honors.


His 2019 squad saw the season end with a 13-3-4 overall record and a 7-2-1 conference mark. The Marlins advanced to the championship match of the ODAC tournament and came up just shy of claiming the Championship title as they fell to the Yellow Jackets of Randolph-Macon in penalty kicks (5-3). VWU saw several post season accolades as Sam Crawford and Shea Geary both earned VaSID All-State and USC All-Region honors.


In 2018 his squad finished the season with a 12-5-4 record, reaching the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament.


Bowers guided VWU to its most successful season ever in women's soccer in 2006, highlighted by an Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III final four tournament, ultimately finishing 18-4-4 following a pair of wins in the national tournament.


He also won a pair of games in the NCAA tournament while setting the school record with 20 wins in the 2003 campaign. That team captured the ODAC regular season title, earning a berth in the NCAA tournament before advancing to the national quarterfinals. He has mentored the Marlins to all six NCAA tournament victories.


He has coached the professional women’s soccer team, the Hampton Roads Piranha, during the summer of 2004 following the success of his 2003 season with the Marlins.


Bowers holds a Premier License from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and a License from the United States Soccer Federation.


He has coached three State Players of the Year and four ODAC Players of the Year in his time as mentor of the women’s soccer program.


Prior to his time as the head coach of the Marlins, Bowers served as an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s programs at Messiah College. He has also been on staff at camps at the College of William and Mary, University of Kentucky, Ohio State, Messiah, and York College.


He served as the head coach at Spring Grove Area High School and an assistant at York Catholic High School and York Suburban High School after graduating from York College with a degree in secondary education and accounting in 1995. He earned his master’s in sports administration from Western Maryland University in 1998.

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Mario Hurdle

Hurdle enters his 23rd season with the women's soccer program in 2022-2023 season. He is currently the head girls soccer coach at Kellam High School in Virginia Beach, Va.


In 2021, the Marlins won the ODAC Championship title and advanced to the NCAA first round to face Messiah. VWU went 12-6-2 overall with a 7-1-1 record against ODAC foes. Hurdle helped coach a pair of Marlins in Sam Crawford and Breacain McClenahan, who claimed major ODAC end of year awards in the ODAC Player of teh Year and the ODAC Rookie of the Year respectively. In addition, the Marlins brought in seven ODAC All-Conference team honorees. A trio of Marlins, Crawford, McClenahan, and Kennedi Anders, earned VaSID All-State accolades as well as USC All-Region honors following the completion of the season.


The 2020 season was a unique one to say the least with the fall sport seasons being played in the spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Marlins went 5-3-1 overall with a 4-2-1 record in conference. Virginia Wesleyan advanced to the semifinals of the ODAC tournament where they fell to Washington & Lee. Five Marlins were named to the ODAC All-Conference teams including Julia Marrone, Kennedi Anders, and Sam Crawford who earned spots on the First Team, while Olivia Bryant and Lexi Soteriou both earned Third Team recognition. Crawford went on to earn VaSID All-State honors.


His coaching background includes one year as an assistant at Longwood College, head coach at Virginia Beach Catholic High School, and head boys coach at Kellam High School. He is the former head coach on the club level for the Azzurri U-19 Boys team of the Atlantic Soccer Club and the Beach Football Club.


He holds a United States Soccer Federation "B" license, a National Soccer Coaches Association of America national diploma and advanced diploma. He has also received a Premier License from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and a "B" License from the United States Soccer Federation. Hurdle has been involved with the Virginia Olympic Development Program for the past eight years as a district evaluator and member of the state coaching staff.


He has been involved with the Virginia Olympic Development Program for the past 11 years as a district evaluator and member of the state coaching staff.


Mario played soccer in his native Naples, Italy, for five years. He also played for Virginia Beach's Princess Anne High School, and for Old Dominion University for one year before finishing out with three years at Longwood University. He speaks fluent Italian, French, and Spanish.


Hurdle earned his bachelor's degree from Longwood University, majoring in health and physical education, with a concentration on teaching and coaching K-12. He is working toward certification in Special Education from Old Dominion University.

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Meghan Griffin

Meghan Griffin joined the Virginia Wesleyan University women's soccer staff in the summer of 2022, this will be her second season with the Marlins. She comes to VWU after working with the Juniata College Eagles as an assistant coach during the 2021 season.


Griffin, a native of Wayne, New Jersey, played collegiate soccer at Division I Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. While at FDU, Griffin appeared in 22 games, scoring two goals on 26 shot attempts, including the game-winning goal against Wagner on October 9, 2016. Her playing career was cut short due to an injury, however, Griffin still remained a part of the team as a manager and coach.


Griffin graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in biology. She received North East Conference Honor Roll, Commissioner's Honor Roll, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and graduated Summa Cum Laude during her time at FDU. Griffin is currently enrolled at Montclair State University, pursuing her Masters of Science in Exercise Science and Sport Studies.

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