Get to know new Wildcat coaches

David Gray, Staff Writer

Linfield’s athletic department announced the hiring of new head coaches for the volleyball and men’s soccer teams in early 2020. Although COVID has impacted nearly all collegiate athletics across the country, first-year Wildcat coaches Haley Doerfler and Andrew Duvall are on campus and ready to get to work with their student-athletes. 

The volleyball program welcomed Haley Doerfler as head coach in January and Andrew Duvall was hired as the men’s soccer coach this past April. Bringing experience as athletes and coaches, Doerfler and Duvall aim to make a significant impact at Linfield, on and off the court.

Doerfler is volleyball’s first female head coach since 1979. This considerable achievement is special to Doerfler and her family. 

“The role of being the first woman head coach in so long means a lot to me. My family has a strong athletic history at Linfield and I am proud to be able to continue that legacy,” Doerfler said. 

Along with continuing her family’s Linfield legacy, Doerfler also hopes to show her players that anything is possible. She believes that any dream or career is achievable for student-athletes, especially female athletes.

“It is my hope that being the first woman head coach [since 1979] will allow our volleyball student-athletes to see that being a student-athlete can help you learn many valuable life lessons that enable you to go far in your career and in life,” Doerfler said. 

She had an impressive volleyball career, from being a student-athlete at Hawaii Pacific University to coaching at Durham University in England, and eventually landing her position as head coach at Linfield.

Andrew Duvall landed the job as men’s soccer coach after Concordia University closed suddenly last spring due to financial challenges. For some, the transition from a larger university (around 5,000 students) to a smaller one might have proved difficult, but Duvall had the opposite experience. 

“I credit the ease of this transition mostly to the great people at Concordia who prepared me for this new role, and the terrific people here at Linfield who gave me this opportunity and put their trust in me to further develop the Linfield men’s soccer program,” Duvall said. 

He also commends the integrity of Concordia and Linfield faculty members that helped ease this transition. He feels Concordia prepared him for this new position and is grateful for the people at Linfield who have trusted him to lead the men’s soccer program. 

Duvall has many goals he wishes to accomplish with the team. “I want Linfield men’s soccer to represent the best of what comes from a higher academic institution and university athletic department,” Duvall said. “The goal is for Linfield men’s soccer to be respected and accomplished in every category relevant to athletics in higher education. That includes athletic success, academic success and overall growth of each of the student athletes.”

Duvall and Doerfler both cite the athletes as their main coaching inspiration. 

“The best thing about this job for me is that I get to impact the lives of the student athletes in ways that will hopefully provide them with knowledge, confidence and skills to succeed in the present and the future,” Duvall said.

Doerfler shares a similar outlook. “When I reflect on why I wanted to become a coach, my thoughts always come back to the relationships that you form and the mentorship that happens as a coach,” Doerfler said. “We want to help our student-athletes learn how to be successful on the court and in the classroom.”

Until their spring seasons begin, the coaches remain fully committed to the off-season academic and athletic success of their student-athletes.