Brian Hoener being introduced as the new coach at Marquette High School.

ALTON - Marquette Catholic has a new girls soccer head coach, and he is Brian Hoener.

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“I told the Marquette girls I would find them the best coach possible to continue the great tradition of girls’ soccer at our school and I did! Brian’s accomplishments are many, and he is devoted to the same ideals that identify our school: God first, family second and school third. His priorities are well defined,” Marquette Athletic Director Jack Holmes said in a statement.”

Hoener has coached men’s and women’s soccer for 18 years with over 200 career victories at the NCAA Division III level. He will still be the head girls’ soccer coach at Fontbonne University and currently serves as an assistant coach for the men’s team and is also Fontbonne’s Assistant Athletic Director. This will be his first time coaching a high school team.

“I want to thank Mr. Holmes and Principle Slaughter for this opportunity. I’m very excited to be part of the Explorers family,” Hoener said. “I’m excited to get to know the girls and see what we’re capable of. It’s a goal of mine for some years to get into the high school circuit. I’ve always been intrigued to come over and coach at the high school side when the opportunity presents itself. It fits well for my family as far as proximity. I’m extremely excited that everything worked out.”

A St. Louis native, Hoener graduated from McCluer North High School then went on to play his first two seasons of college soccer at Lewis and Clark. He transferred to play his remaining years at Fontbonne. Hoener recalls back to his high school soccer days about how special it was to represent his school and what it meant to him.

“I remember the tradition, the sense of playing for your high school and having that pride of putting on your uniform. I always wanted to have that opportunity to lead a team that has that pride of playing for your high school,” Hoener said. “That was the major draw to the high school [level] having the opportunity to work with young ladies and having an opportunity to work at a school with such a great tradition.

In the wake of the boy's soccer team winning a state championship, Hoener went out of his way to congratulate the team and hopes to follow the trend with the girls.

“We look forward to having the opportunity of following in their footsteps and setting a tremendous standard,” We’re going to do the best we can on the girl's side and try to replicate that.”

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At McCluer North Hoener was coached by St. Louis soccer legend Ray Stahl, and at Fontbonne, his coach was Tim Rooney. He holds both coaches in high regard.

“I’ve been very blessed through my career to play under two coaches that I think when it comes to soccer in this area whether it’s on this side or that side of the [Mississippi] River to what I would call is two legends of coaching,” Hoener said. “[They] made such a huge impact on me as far as not just making me a better player, but teaching me how the game should be played and the right way how to and to conduct yourself within the game.”

“The right way to play the game is to make sure that you have a plan and execute it,” Hoener said. “We don’t want to go out there without any preparation and having our players not know what they want to do when they get the ball. As long as you have a plan and you’re thinking the game through that’s what we’re going to strive to have for our players.”

Out of the 18 years, Hoener has coached soccer at Fontbonne; he’s helped guide the boys and girls teams to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances. However, for him, it’s not always about the accolades of qualifying for the tournament, but the growth he has seen in the players that weren’t there before, and improve throughout a season.

“The best experience when you’re coaching a team is getting that team when you first have them and see where you’re capable of taking them,” Hoener said. “Sometimes the best coaching accomplishments aren’t the teams that go to the NCAA Tournament. “It could be a team that’s just maybe average, but you coach them up, they buy into the process and next thing you know they’re a second or third place team as opposed to a fifth or sixth place.”

As far as his tactics go, Hoener stated that it’s too early to tell what formation the team will use, however, he prefers an attacking style of play.

“I’m an offensive-minded coach,” Hoener said. “We like to go forward and score goals, but just like anything else most good teams start in the back and work their way forward. Our formation and tactics will all be dictated by what the roster says, and we’re in the process of putting that together over the next couple of months.”

As of now, Hoener will put together a three-month plan on getting to know the players, figuring out their positions, and most of all establishing a culture.

“Our plan is to get to know each other over the course of the next couple months. I have a lot to learn about the players, what positions they play, and where they’re comfortable playing. I want my players to be able to talk to me about anything from home life to school to soccer. Hoener said. “Just try to get as much information to develop a plan so that way when we hit the field for our first preseason practice we’re organized. We’re going to work hard to win games, but we also want to work hard to establish a culture that kids want to play in. That includes everything from team chemistry to making sure we work academically.”

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