Nick Webster, one of the pioneers at Fox Soccer Channel, recently joined World Soccer Talk as the new host of the weekly podcast (and the longest running soccer podcast on the planet).
Here’s our interview with Nick to learn more about what it was like at in the early days of FOX Soccer, as well as his experience as a coach and his insights about the beautiful game:
Christopher Harris (Chris): Nick, outside of your work with television and in media, you’ve been active in coaching soccer. How did you come into coaching, and what’s been your coaching highlights thus far?
Nick Webster (Nick): I began coaching as soon as I arrived in the U.S in 1987, and started off in Cal South, met a few people and began my coaching badges, starting off with the USSF D license, and through that I got a job at Occidental College as an assistant to Lowell Thomas and was his assistant for a year.
That was my first job and that led to a head coaching job at a high school in Mission Hills, called Bishop Alemany, where I was the head coach there for a couple of years. It was very challenging to begin with because you’re very young and it takes a while to learn the ropes of how high schools work in the U.S., and just the mentality of the players and how soccer is perceived in this country.
Through that, it led to some other positions at different high schools. I kept on taking my badges and got my USSF A license in 1994. I worked with the Amateur Athletic Foundation coaching coaches and just kept my experience going through different clubs, coaching men, women, girls and boys.
I’ve always maintained a love of coaching. In 1997, I got offered a position at Windward, which is a private high school here in L.A. The way the season pans out, it allowed me to coach while also doing my FOX Soccer work. It’s a great private school, they’ve always looked after me, so I always kept that job.
It just so happened that after I left Fox, the opportunity was still there to coach at the school, and start teaching and with more time on my hands, I started working with Eric Wynalda, with Cal FC, and we went on a big run in the U.S. Open Cup. The biggest highlight from a professional point of view was beating Portland, in Portland, with a bunch of kids, basically, against Portland’s full eleven.