Switchbacks FC is excited to announce that Assistant Coach Wolde Harris is a 2017 inductee into the Clemson Hall of Fame. While at Clemson University, he scored 76 goals and set several records for the soccer team (Clemson Tigers), and was among the nation's top goal scorers in men's soccer in 1993 and 1994. “I feel the numbers and my loyalty to the university are what got me into the Hall of Fame; and I was also very fortunate to play with good, talented players,” said Harris. “To be remembered and recognized by such a high caliber institution is a great honor.”
Goal scoring is at the root of his passion and love for the sport. “I always loved putting the ball in the net. That feeling you get – the exhilaration and adrenaline of scoring a goal – is extraordinary,” he said. He applies his expertise as assistant coach for the Switchbacks, providing feedback and support to help players improve their game. “I get the team ready for practice, set up drills, analyze play-by-play videos of both players and opponents, personally call or talk to players to offer advice, and really anything else to help bridge any gap in communication between Head Coach Steve Trittschuh and the players.”
Trittschuh and Harris played together on the Colorado Rapids from 97-99 and had a great dynamic on the team. Trittschuh reached out to Harris in fall 2014 to be assistant coach, and he’s been with the Switchbacks ever since. “We’ve done well over the last few years, we came in 3rd place in the conference in 2015 and 2016 – both times with a chance to come in 1st,” Harris said. “We’ve had a bit of an off year this year, the ball didn’t always bounce our way, but that’s the nature of the sport. The most important thing is to learn from your mistakes and improve.” The team had an exciting win this past Saturday at Weidner Field against Sacramento Republic, keeping them in the running for the playoffs.
Harris grew up in Jamaica where soccer is the number one sport, and has been playing since he was four years old. His father, Trevor Harris, is a Hall of Famer himself, inducted into the Michigan State Hall of Fame in 2016. “My dad was my biggest influence and introduced me to the sport,” Harris said. “From age 12-18 he was either coach or head coach for every team I played for.” Harris always knew he wanted to be a professional – idolizing Pelé and Maradona growing up – and took all the necessary steps to get there. He played for the Jamaican national team for eight years, moved to Florida in 1990, and was drafted into what’s now the USL straight from Clemson University. From there he did very well and advanced to the MLS from 1997-2005.
“I know that I always want to stay in the sport – soccer is my entire life. Being assistant coach for the Switchbacks is my next stage with the sport, and has been a huge learning experience for me,” said Harris. “We’ve done well, and I’ve learned a lot about the nuances of coaching at a professional level. I aspire to one day be a head coach; but am learning as much as I can right now under the tutelage of Coach Trittschuh and am focused on helping the Switchbacks organization move forward to accomplish goals, enter the playoffs and bring a USL title home to Colorado Springs.”
Harris said that the support from the community over the years has been tremendous and continues to improve – stadium-wise, sponsorship-wise and partnership-wise. “The future is bright for the Switchbacks and I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited to see more fans in the stands, I’m excited we have more partners on board and I’m excited that the sport is growing in the city of Colorado Springs.”
Tune in to Switchbacks FC final match before the playoffs on Saturday, October 14 against Tulsa Roughnecks FC at ONEOK Field in Oklahoma.
To learn more, visit SwitchbacksFC.com or follow them on Facebook @SwitchbacksFC.