New Soccer Coach Gets Her Dream Job, Feels at Home

Women%27s+Soccer+Coach+Heather+Davis+and+team+practice+on+the+soccer+fields.+

Julianna Cesarini/Echo Contributor

Women’s Soccer Coach Heather Davis and team practice on the soccer fields.

As the Warren Wilson College Women’s Head Soccer Coach, Heather Davis brings a variety of experience with her to the program, and soccer is just one line in an impressive resume. Before arriving on campus, Davis had been a leader with several community-oriented work projects, including co-founding Upward Roots, a non-profit organization in Oakland, CA that supports youth-led service projects as a means of self-efficacy and community healing. In Tennessee, she worked for Thistle Farms, a justice enterprise that supports healing and economic independence for women survivors of sexual abuse, homelessness, and addiction. 

“These two organizations made a big impact on me,” Davis said. “I believe that individual healing and formation happens within a community.” 

In addition to her community engagement experience, Davis also has 17 years of coaching experience in a wide range of settings. During her junior year playing at NCAA Division I Western Carolina University, Davis said she first started coaching soccer and fell in love with it. She coached in many places and many in settings: in Bolivia, at beach soccer camps in California, club soccer, and the college level at UNC-Charlotte and St. Mary’s College in California. 

Davis said she finds great importance in academics and the holistic student experience. She believes the same work put into soccer should be put in the classroom and community, and that player development is done best when a player stays focused on and off the field. 

“Control what you can control, work hard every time you step on the field, and have passion for the game itself,” Davis said. 

In the off season, Davis said that her role continues to be important.

“My role is ensuring athletes continue to grow as individuals, maintain connection as a team, and for me to be an available support system,” Davis said.

Davis declared that the team motto for this year be “life is a team sport,” which was coined by renowned UCLA softball coach, Sue Enquist.

With the soccer season being postponed in the fall due to COVID-19, the WWC women’s team has faced unexpected challenges. However, according to Davis, they stayed focused on the positives and the team is now much stronger and ready for the next season.

“Well, you are not going to believe this when I say it, but my dream job was to be the Head Coach at Warren Wilson Women’s Soccer Program,” Davis said. 

Davis shared that Warren Wilson is her dream job due to the community, the atmosphere, and location of the college. She feels at home.

Sierra Bell, a senior at Warren Wilson College, is one of two captains on the soccer team.

“I think that as a captain it’s my responsibility to kind of be the liaison between the Coach and the players,” Bell said. “I like to advocate for my teammates if maybe they are feeling some way, or there is something that Heather may not be realizing just from the looks of things. Also, it goes the other way around too. I want to make sure my teammates are trusting Heather and taking her seriously, especially because she is the new coach.” 

Fun Things About Coach Heather Davis

Favorite soccer team: Asheville City
Favorite food: peanut butter pretzels
Least favorite food: any type of meat, due to her being a vegetarian
Favorite pump up song: anything by the artist Odesza
Role model: Julie Foudy, a retired soccer star midfielder who was a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion, and Olympic gold medalist
Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo: Lionel Messi
Megan Rapinoe or Alex Morgan: Megan Rapinoe
Nike or Adidas: Nike