West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University Men's Soccer
2403 Russell Long Blvd Canyon, TX 79016
Division 2 Texas South
Public Medium Competitive team

Coaches

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Butch Lauffer

Butch Lauffer enters his 28th season as head men’s soccer coach at West Texas A&M University. Lauffer is now the longest tenured head coach in West Texas A&M history in a storied career dating back to 1991. Lauffer reached the 500-win plateau on September 30th of last season in Odessa, Texas with a dominating 13-2 win over UT Permian Basin.


During his tenure, Lauffer has coached the men to 26 consecutive non-losing seasons and the women to 12-plus victories in 12 seasons. Lauffer has recorded a 316-145-34 (.661) record at the helm of the Buffs with a 506-212-51 (.680) overall record at WT.


The Buffs finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 12-5-1 as they completed their second season as a member of the Heartland Conference with a 10-3-1 record in league play. WT rode a five match win streak into the 2017 Heartland Conference Tournament before falling to St. Mary's (0-2) in the Quarterfinal round in Canyon.


The 2016 season saw the Buffs go 14-5-1 overall with a third place finish in their first campaign as a member of the Heartland Conference. WT handed rival Eastern New Mexico a 5-0 loss in the Quarterfinal round of the Heartland Conference Championship at The Pitch in Canyon before falling to second seeded St. Edward's in the Semifinal round.


In the fall of 2013, Lauffer coached the Buffs to a 12-3-1 overall record in their first season as an independent men’s soccer team without a conference while they ranked as high as fifth in the NSCAA national rankings. In 2013, Lauffer was also named Panhandle Sports Soccer Coach of the Year.


In the summer prior to the 2014 season, Lauffer once again assisted renowned coach Randy Waldrum in the organization and training of the expansion Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). In 2014, he led the Buffs to a 9-7-1 overall and coached his 700th career game at WT (men & women combined) on Sept. 12, earning a 5-3 victory on the road at CSU-Pueblo.In 2015, he led the Buffs to their 23rd consecutive winning season including a six match winning streak during the season.


In 1991, Lauffer organized a Division II soccer program in less than three months and in their first season he guided the Buffs to a 10-8-2 record.


The Buffaloes reached the NCAA Division II men’s soccer playoffs for the first time in 1997, losing to Cal State-Bakersfield in a shootout. The men made a return trip in 2000, and both the men’s and women’s teams qualified in 2001. The Buffs were ranked in each of their first 11 seasons.


Lauffer was named NCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2009 and received the LSC Men’s Coach of the Year award in 1999 ,2000 and 2009. Additionally, he was chosen as the Women’s LSC Coach of the Year in 1996, 2001 and 2008. Lauffer started the women’s program in 1996, leading them to a 12-4-0 finish and Lone Star Conference regular season title.


Lauffer has several foreign and domestic coaching licenses, including an English Football Association’s preparatory coaching license (1982), the United States Soccer Federation “A” license (1987) and the Irish Football Association Grade 1 coaching license (1989). Most recently, he earned a United European Football Association “A” license from the Wales Football Association in 1998 and a UEFA pro license through the Scottish Football Association in 2001.


During the 1994 World Cup, he became a member of the USSF National coaching staff. He assisted FIFA with the technical reports for all World Cup contests at the Dallas venue and taught coaching courses on developing coaching skills for the “A,” “B,” and “C” levels.


In the summer of 2008, Lauffer lent his coaching talents to Trinidad and Tobago as he was an assistant coach for the country’s Under-17 Women’s National Team. The field of competitors included Canada, Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. Lauffer joined the coaching staff of Randy Waldrum, of Notre Dame, as Trinidad and Tobago prepared to host the 2008 CONCACAF(Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Women’s U-17 Championship.


Lauffer, born in Washington, D.C., moved to Dallas at age seven and has played or coached soccer ever since. In his playing days, Lauffer competed for the Texas Longhorn Soccer Club; he logged over 100 international matches with them and was a member of the first American team to win a European Tournament - the Munich Cup - in 1978.


Lauffer has written three soccer books about coaching and player development. His first book, Coaching Soccer, was published by Sterling Publishing Company in 1989. It was praised by Soccer Digest as a “gold mine of tips and advice from one of America’s greatest soccer experts.” The book was re-released in the fall of 2006. His second book, Soccer Coaches Guide to Skills, Drills and Technique Training, was released in the fall of 1991.


His latest book, Techniques, Tactics and Teamwork for Women’s Soccer, was released by Sterling Publishing in the spring of 2001. He co-wrote it with April Kater, Syracuse University’s head women’s coach. In conjunction with Championship Productions, Lauffer has created two three-disc DVD sets describing how to implement various game tactics and coaching techniques. The first set, released in 2005, includes “The Complete Guide to the 3-5-2,” “Tactical Flexibility With the 4-2-3-1 System,” and “Attacking in the Final Third.” The second set, released in 2006, includes “Butch Lauffer’s Counter Attack System,” “Butch Lauffer’s Zone Play,” and “Butch Lauffer’s 12 Best Training Games.”


Lauffer is also director of soccer for the Amarillo Drifters Soccer Association and a member of the North and South Texas Olympic Development program. He graduated from Texas Christian University in 1985. Lauffer lives in Amarillo with his wife, Kimberly, and their two children, Kendall and Kyle. He also has a son, Blake, who lives in Hurst/Bedford.

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James Crowder

Crowder has been a driving force in the resurgence of Buffalo Soccer over the last five seasons in Canyon as WT has recorded 61 victories during his tenure with a pair of Heartland Conference Regular Season Championships and the 2018 Tournament Championship. Crowder was elevated to Associate Head Coach following the 2018 campaign.


The Buffs registered one of the best seasons in program history in 2018 as they set a new school record for victories, ending the season in the NCAA Division II National Quarterfinals with an overall record of 17-3-3. WT claimed the first Heartland Conference Tournament Title in program history followed by postseason wins over #5 Colorado School of Mines and #25 Colorado Mesa to claim the South Central Regional Championship before falling to Cal Poly Pomona in the Elite Eight. WT earned United Soccer Coaches Division II South Central Region Coaching Staff of the Year.


Crowder came to WT following a six-year stint as the Goalkeeping Director of the Lonestar Soccer Club in Austin. While with the Lonestar Soccer Club, Crowder trained goalkeepers from 136 select teams, including the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) and United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Academy. Crowder’s clubs won a United States Youth Soccer (USYS) National Championship in 2009 and an ECNL National Championship in 2011.


Also leading up to his arrival in Canyon, Crowder administered and trained all of the South Texas Olympic Development Program’s goalkeepers as the Head Goalkeeper Coach with the South Texas Youth Soccer Association since 2005 and served as a Goalkeeping Staff Coach with the Region III Olympic Development Program since 2007.


Crowder’s first coaching experience came in 2000 where he was on staff with the Centex Storm Soccer Club and won three South Texas Championships in three years. Between 2001-’05, he got his first experience coaching at the collegiate level with NCAA DIII University of Mary Hardin-Baylor as an assistant coach. There, Crowder coached goalkeeper Chase Williams to American Southwest Conference Player of the Year honors in 2004 and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) First-team All-Region in 2003-’05.


Between 2005-’07, Crowder served as an assistant coach with Austin Lightning Soccer while in 2006 and 2007 he was an assist coach for the men’s team at NAIA member Huston-Tillotson University. Crowder helped lead the Rams to a Red River Conference Championship in 2007 while his goalkeeper Jeff Richie was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.


More recently, Crowder spent two years with the Dallas Texas Soccer Club-Austin Division (2006-’08) as Director of Goalkeeping and two years with Austin Amp’d Indoor Soccer (2007-’09). With Amp’d, a PASL semi-professional club, he served as assistant coach and conditioning coach for the men and was the head coach for the women in his final year, leading the team to a Southern League Championship appearance.


Also while with Lonestar SC, Crowder spent three years with the Town and Country Soccer Association as Soccer Director (2008-’11). Crowder managed the entrie soccer complex, facilitated field rentals, managed a 1,500-player recreational league, and held coaching clinics in addition to numerous other duties. Before joining Lonesar, he worked as a goalkeeper coach for St. Stephen's Episcopal in Austin, Texas (2011-'13).


His many certifications include a USSF ‘B’ License, NSCAA Premier Diploma, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, NSCAA Advanced National Goalkeeper Diploma, USA Weightlifting Certified Conditioning Coach/Club Coach, Cooper’s Institute Certified Personal Trainer, ISSA Certified Sports Conditioning Coach, and FA Level 1 Award. Over the previous five years, Crowder has also served as an Id2 Identification Scout with US Club Soccer and a North America Scout with Royal Racing FC Montegnée.


Crowder received a Bachelors of Arts and Science in 2000 from Midwestern State. He also has a wealth of experience in strength and conditioning after working five years in fitness management and personal training at World’s Gym, Gold’s Gym, and YMCA-Austin.

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