(FREDERICTON, NB) The Fredericton District Soccer Association is excited to announce a new partnership with UNB Athletics that will see Barry Morrison appointed the new head coach of the Reds men’s soccer program.
As part of a two-year agreement between the Reds and the FDSA, Morrison will add the role of head coach of UNB’s men’s team to his job as the club’s head coach, a job he’s held for more than eight years.
Morrison is excited to assume control of the program after serving seven years as an assistant.
“Having the opportunity to take over a program with a history of success is something that will be a great challenge for me personally and professionally.” said Morrison.
Both UNB and FDSA are equally pleased to see Morrison take over the role.
“We’re pleased to have Barry take on this new role,” said John Richard, UNB’s Director of Athletics. “He has an established relationship with the student-athletes, a proven track record of community engagement, and we believe he’s the right person to set and maintain a new standard of excellence for the Reds, both on and off the field.”
Dennis van den Heuvel, executive director of the FDSA, says Morrison’s new dual role makes sense for the club and UNB.
“From the club’s perspective it was essential that Barry will remain in his role with the FDSA, but we recognize his desire to positively influence both elite level and grassroots players. This allows him to do that,” said van den Heuvel. “He’s now in a position to create stronger connections in the community that will grow soccer at all levels. Additionally, we believe there will be a much clearer path for some of our athletes to soccer beyond their time in our organization.”
Morrison believes his new dual role will serve both organizations well.
“UNB and the FDSA have had a strong relationship over the last six years, and this will continue to grow that relationship,” said Morrison. “I think it will give me a great chance to connect with the Fredericton community in a different way as I continue to work with great organizations to grow the sport in the region.”
The working arrangement between UNB and the FDSA is similar to those already in place for the Reds cross country and track & field teams, and the women’s and men’s swimming teams.
These partnerships, with local sport organizations, result in a continuum of athlete development from youth to the high-performance university environment.
“We’re very happy with our partnerships with the Saint John Track Club, Athletics NB, and the Fredericton Aquanauts Swim Club, and see our new partnership with the FDSA achieving the same objectives,” said Richard.
Morrison began his coaching career in 1999, quickly progressing through the FDSA ranks.
In 2005, and again in 2007, he served as an assistant with UNB’s women’s team.
He took over the FDSA’s head coaching job in March of 2012 after obtaining his diploma in high performance coaching at the National Coaching Institute and spending time coaching in British Columbia (2006-07) and Alberta (2008-2012). He joined the Reds men’s team the following year.
Morrison takes over a Reds team that has seen considerable success during the last decade, including three Atlantic University Sport championships, and silver and bronze medal performances at U SPORTS championships.
“Obviously, a coaching change always brings some new ideas and ways of doing things, but at this point, we’re going to be building from an already strong base,” said Morrison. “I think we’ll see a lot remain the same. We’ll continue to focus on having success on the field while building great people within our program.”
Morrison, who’s been helping manage the team along with assistant coach Ben Law, assumes his new duties immediately.