LMH Head Soccer Coach Fred Winey ’90 has been named the PA Soccer Coach Association’s AA Boys State Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. Considering Winey’s record since he took over as the Blazer’s head soccer coach in 2007, the back-to-back awards are not surprising.
In the nine seasons since he took over at Mennonite, the Blazers have won an L-L section title eight times , a pair of L-L crowns (2012, 2013) and three two District Three Class AA titles (2010, 2011 and 2015). They also advanced to the PIAA Class AA semifinals four times (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014), reached the Class AA state championship game three times (2011, 2013, 2014) and won the 2011 Class AA state title. This year, he took an inexperienced and injury-plagued team to the state quarterfinals.
Considering he works at a school where faith is the core, it’s also no surprise that his coaching approach is shaped by his Christian values.
“The over-arching goal that I have is for the team to play in a manner that gives glory to God,” Winey wrote in a 2015 email. “A key Bible verse that has shaped me and my coaching style is, ‘And whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’
“I believe the verse points toward striving for excellence in all that we do and so that is the standard at which the team strives (to meet) in practices, in games, in our relationships with each other … it encompasses everything. Applying that to the game itself, the goal is to be technically proficient, tactically aware and strong emotionally and mentally so that we can give our best possible performance.”
Winey’s approach was built on his own experience playing under or coaching with other highly-successful coaches in high school and college. He credits his high school coach and predecessor, Vernon Rice, for building the foundation of successful Mennonite’s boys’ and girls’ soccer programs. He credits former Messiah College coach, Layton Shoemaker, for whom he played soccer. And he credits former Messiah coach Dave Brandt, for whom he worked as an assistant.
“Having been a part of two soccer programs with such rich histories has taught me countless lessons about soccer and about life,” Winey said. Now he is passing on those lessons to scores of other young people.