By Collin Bryant | Sports Writer
Baylor women’s soccer head coach Paul Jobson, now in his 10th season with the Bears, has seen a lot of change since coming to Waco. In the last 10 years, the program has had title changes within the coaching staff, two losing seasons and two championship-runs.
Before coaching, Jobson had a college soccer career of his own at Presbyterian College in South Carolina. He and his squad made it to the university’s first NCAA Division II Championship. Instead of playing his senior year, however, Jobson opted to begin coaching as a student assistant to the head coach.
In 2002 Jobson started working for the Atlanta Beat soccer team, where he met his wife Marci, who was playing for the squad. Jobson worked in various areas of the organization, including promotion, youth soccer development and game day operations.
After getting married in 2004, Jobson made it clear that it was never the couple’s idea to “co-coach.” However, after his wife received a head coaching opportunity at Northern Illinois University, the couple decided to do it together. The pair worked at Northern Illinois for three years as co-coaches, with Paul Jobson as the assistant coach from 2005-2006 and associate head coach in 2007. During their time at NIU, the Jobson’s turned the program around from a five-win team in 2005 to a 10-win team in 2007. Shortly after finishing the 2007 season, the Jobsons accepted the position at Baylor.
The coaching duo took Baylor from a bottom-tier team within its conference and turned them into a contender. The Bears had not had a winning season for 10 years before the Jobsons arrived. However, after their first two losing seasons, the pair led the Bears to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2011 and 2012.
Paul Jobson said that he and Marci knew when they arrived that the team had great character, and that was something they could work with.
“We got here, the program was at the bottom of the Big 12,” Paul Jobson said. “But what we said was, ‘We have fantastic young women here. They were great girls, they were not great soccer players but they were great girls, and they were great students.’”
Jobson said that it has only been within the past few years that titles of head coach began to switch between himself and his wife.
“We started college coaching together essentially,” Paul Jobson said. “Three years at Northern Illinois together, and came here and started rebuilding this program together, and it has really only been within the last couple years or so that she changed roles, and phased her more into the family role.”
Jobson said the difference in the coaching roles were merely in name and title. As the Jobsons began to raise a bigger family, they recognized the roles needed to change.
“That transition really started to happen when it went from two kids, to three kids, to four kids,” Jobson said. “During that time when our second kid was 2 or so, got really sick and was in the hospital for about a week or so.”
After getting through their son’s recovery, the Jobsons said it was time to change priorities. They still felt like Baylor is where God wanted them to be, but things had to be adjusted.
Jobson said coaching and maintaining a family is difficult, but it is do-able.
“I think if anyone tells you it’s not difficult they’re lying. I mean it is definitely difficult,” Jobson said. “But I think because of the relationship Marci and I have and because of the faith we have, we rely on Christ a ton to get through what we get through on a day-to-day basis. Because of those things we’re able to do this.”
Jobson said the program would never come before his family, nor his marriage. However, with his family’s support and Marci still being a big piece of the program by serving as mentor, they remain capable of the balance.
While the next step for Jobson is building a dynasty, he recognizes that “there’s no overnight successes” and that it will be challenging to “build a dynasty in five years or even 10 years.”
He did remain clear on the teams immediate expectations of becoming a powerhouse team with great players.
“For us the next thing is to continue to get better and better soccer players, and build this play into a perennial powerhouse, where we’re at the top of the Big 12 every year and we’re in the NCAA tournament every year,” Paul Jobson said.
Junior forward Jackie Crowther said that the Jobsons are key to developing players on and off the field.
“I have a lot of respect for Coach [Paul] Jobson definitely. I think the really awesome thing that I love about Baylor and especially about our coaches, is that they care about us as people and not just as players,” Crowther said. “I think that, in developing us as a team, they’re developing our friendship, they’re developing our mentality, and they’re developing us as women to go out into the world.”
He said the most important thing to him is to “build a community where when the girls leave they are happy” with the time they spent at Baylor.
He added that more than anything, he hopes to develop a program that the Baylor community can be proud of.
“It’s not about my win/loss record. I could care less about individual coach successes. I want this program to be something people are excited about that people really want to pour into,” Jobson said.
Jobson and the Bears play SMU at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Westcott Field in Dallas.