Penn State Hazleton Chancellor Gary Lawler announced Monday that head men's soccer coach Jesse Shadle has been chosen to lead the new women's soccer program at the campus.
Shadle, who led Nittany Lion soccer to consecutive Penn State University Athletic Conference playoff appearances in his first two seasons as the head coach of the men's program, officially takes on this new challenge after serving as interim head coach of the Lady Lions since the program's inception in November 2015. Shadle will also continue his role as the head men's coach.
Lawler said, "We are excited to officially name Jesse Shadle as our head women's soccer coach. He's done a terrific job with our men's program and has also contributed greatly to the exploration and expansion of the new program."
Director of Athletics Ryan Ehrie noted the value Shadle has brought to Penn State Hazleton athletics, saying, "Jesse has been an integral part of Penn State Hazleton soccer for the better part of a decade, reaching postseason play in every season he's been a part of the program."
Shadle played three seasons as a center-back for the Lions from 2006-09, earning PSUAC All-Conference and academic honors while helping the team to three playoff appearances over that span. After graduating from Penn State with a degree in recreation, parks and tourism management, Shadle returned to Hazleton as an assistant under coaches Ian Vernon and Shawn Holcombe for the 2011-12 seasons. When the head coaching position became available in the fall of 2014, Shadle was a natural choice for the role. He guided the team back to the postseason as interim head coach, improving upon the team's 3-13 record from a season prior.
Shadle was named head coach of men's soccer in December of 2014 and in a short period of time, turned his squad into a PSUAC contender. The Lions finished the 2015 season with an 11-5 overall record, going 7-2 in the PSUAC before falling in the semi-finals to the eventual champions, Penn State Beaver. Shadle's team sported four PSUAC All-Conference award winners, one of whom was named an All-American by the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. The 2015 squad also had four USCAA National All-Academic recipients.
When asked about the opportunity to take the reins of the new women's program, Shadle said, "I saw so much dedication and skill from the five women who participated on the men's team in 2015. Combining that with significant interest from other current students, the time felt right to add the program and I couldn't be more thrilled to help lay a successful foundation."
Director of Student Services and Engagement Tracy Garnick said, "Having a designated women's program demonstrates our commitment and support of all of our athletes. We're thrilled this program has received so much interest since its announcement."
Since the announcement of the women's team was made in early November, Shadle has worked diligently to build the program and said he already has high expectations for the upcoming season. Seven current students expressed their interest in joining the squad back in November, allowing the recruiting process to pick up steam. Shadle has recruited at local high schools and also used the college showcase circuit to build the inaugural team.
"We expect to compete every time we take the field," Shadle said. "My goal is to develop individual talent and team cohesiveness to build the best women's program in the PSUAC."
Outside his coaching role at Penn State Hazleton, Shadle is a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He holds two special topics diplomas in goalkeeping and game management, providing independent skill specific training sessions in the Bloomsburg and Berwick areas through Vapor Trail 24/7.