A runaway winner at the community college level, Chad Bodnar hopes to do the same as head soccer coach at Eastern Washington.
The 36-year-old Bodnar, head coach at Walla Walla Community College the past 10 seasons, was named Monday as the third soccer coach in the history of the Eagles program.
“I’m excited about the challenge and itching to get started,” said Bodnar, who had a 210-15-11 record with the Warriors with winning streaks of 26 and 24 matches.
Walla Walla never lost more than five matches in a season under Bodnar, winning at least 20 matches in eight of his 10 seasons. The Warriors appeared in the NWAACC tournament championship game in nine of his 10 years. Bodnar was the East Region Coach of the Year five times and received NWAACC Coach of the Year honors three times.
So how will that translate at the Division I level?
Bodnar points to his two decades of experience in recruiting the Inland Northwest, which Eastern athletic director Bill Chaves said separated Bodnar from the other four finalists.
“He checked all the boxes,” Chaves said.
Bodnar replaces George Hageage, who resigned at the end of the 2013 season, in which the Eagles finished 3-15 overall and 1-8 in the Big Sky.
“We’re going to be working extremely hard, and once we get some kids in, try to change the culture,” said Bodnar, who will meet with current Eastern players after the holiday break.
Bodnar has also served as head coach of the Walla Walla men’s program, placing more than 30 players into NCAA Division I schools. Seven of them finished their collegiate careers at Eastern, four earning All-Big Sky honors.
Bodnar played four years of collegiate soccer at Wisconsin-Green Bay, twice earning Midwest Collegiate Conference honors. he was a three-year team captain and the team MVP following the 1998 season.
He also played professionally for the Stanislaus United Cruisers in the Western Conference USSL League in California, as well as for the Yakima Reds in the PDL league in Washington.
Bodnar, who graduated from Washington State in 2003 with a degree in humanities, has a USSF A license and NSCAA Premier diploma.