I recently had the opportunity to sit down for a conversation with Adrianne Pietz, the seventh-year head coach of the MSU Denver women’s soccer team. The following is a transcript of our conversation.
The Met: Are you from the Denver area?
Pietz: I’m originally from California, but I’ve been in the Denver area for about 14 years.
The Met: Who has had the greatest influence on you as a coach?
Pietz: There are three people who come to the top of my mind right away. One is Nicole Van Dyke. She’s the head coach now at Penn University. She’s the one who got me into coaching.
Another one is Danny Sanchez. He was the head coach when I went here, and then I became the assistant here with him, and now he’s the head coach at CU. I only had three years of experience before I became a head coach, so I didn’t really have a lot of formative people around me, I kind of learned by fire. Danny and Nicole were both of the coaches I was around when I was very young.
But then I would say the one who has truly formed me and who I am today is Joan McDermott (former MSU Denver athletic director). She’s the one that hired me. She’s the one that mentored me throughout the
last seven seasons when I was a head coach and helped me grow as a coach and become tough and really identify the things that as a coach I wanted to be.
The Met: What is your philosophy on coaching and its relationship to education?
Pietz: Over the years it’s kind of evolved, but at this point it’s really getting my players to be the best that they can be as an athlete, as a student and also as a person. They’re in a really crucial time period in their lives where there’s a lot of transition and unknown and they’re truly developing into the young adults they’re going to be in the future, so really just mentoring and guiding them, and educationally making sure they’re going toward their long term goals.
The Met: How is the team involved in community?
Pietz: We’ve done the Denver Rescue Mission every year where we feed the homeless. We host camps over the summer and the girls work them, and we get scholarships for kids to come. Some kids from lower income families we allow to come for free.
The Met: What goals does the team have this season?
Pietz: Short term, you know they want to score at least one goal a game, they want to have the majority of possession. And then obviously long-term goals, throughout the season, they want to win the RMAC [Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference] and they want to be in the NCAA tournament final game.
The Met: What is your favorite activity in your free time?
Pietz: Being with my family. Being with my daughter, with my husband, with my dog, I like to be with my family. They’re my pride and joy.
Mike and Adrianne have been together three years. Their daughter, Katileya, turned 1 on Sept. 29. Her dog’s name is Kessler.