x
Breaking News
More () »

In year 30 as DU women's soccer head coach, Jeff Hooker is grateful for the past and eager for the future

Hooker is one of the best coaches in the country and his statistics back it up. He’s top-20 in DI wins with 405 career victories, including 385 with the DU women.

DENVER — The University of Denver women’s soccer team is looking to get back to where they were last year.

And that's in the NCAA Tournament. 

The man leading the Pioneers in that pursuit is Jeff Hooker.

Hooker is in his 30th season as the head coach of the women’s team.

“It’s here so I guess I have to believe it. It’s been a great ride here starting this program at the Division II level," Hooker told 9NEWS. 

Hooker saw the transition that DU went through to get from Division II to I and there were a lot of moving parts.

“I think my office was in the dorms one year,” he recalled.

In the 30 years Hooker has been in the Mile High, he’s experienced coaching both the men’s and women’s team’s simultaneously in 1996 and 1997.

“Looking back it’s like ‘how could you do that?’ But it’s soccer and it was love for the game more than anything else," Hooker said. 

He is one of the best coaches in the country and his statistics back it up. He’s top-20 in Division I wins with 405 career victories overall and 385 of those coming with the women. 

With that success, he’s surely had chances to leave for other opportunities along the way, but never did.

“I think one particular week I was taking another job. I already had one foot out the door but I never got the second one out the door. There’s been a couple times that’s happened. I really feel like I’ve always been taken care of (at Denver)," Hooker said.

Over the years, Hooker has emphasized his strong connection with his players, just ask senior forward Natalie Beckman.

“I just think we have built such a good relationship over the past four years. I know what he expects from me, he knows what I expect from him, and it’s just a really good relationship where we’re really open with each other," Beckman said. 

Senior midfielder Sami Feller feels the same way.

“I think because he is such an experienced coach it’s really easy to trust him and it’s really easy to listen to him," Feller said.

And if the question of stepping away anytime soon from the Pios comes up?

“There’s some that might want me to retire or to leave,” said Hooker with a laugh. “But I don’t picture myself being anywhere (else) at this point right now. I absolutely love this place. I couldn’t imagine walking away from this and taking another job at this point.”

RELATED: DU women's soccer wins first NCAA Tournament game since 2012

RELATED: University of Denver adds women's triathlon as varsity sport