Take a good look at Chip Warner, the new assistant coach for the Cornell men’s soccer team. You’ll see a tall, affable, well-shaven assistant coach – the type of guy who tucks in his polo shirt. Remember that image because two months from now, if Warner has his way, he’ll be sporting a beard reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln. It’s not that Warner’s a huge Civil War enthusiast, but rather he’s the type of coach who’s not about to let a little extra stubble get in the way of a winning streak.
Joining a team that is coming off a 1-14-1 2004 season, Warner would be more than happy to trade in his Norelco for a few more wins and a shot at the Ivy championship. Warner looks forward to the challenge of the coming season.
“The good thing is it’s a fresh start,” Warner said. “We have 13 [new players], 13 returning guys. The class that [head coach] Bryan Scales and Nate Fuller, the old assistant coach, brought in is a very talented class, and they’re all going to be competing for a lot of starting spots.”
Warner comes to Cornell with a soccer resume filled with experience as both a player and coach. Warner played four years in the midfield for St. Bonaventure, captaining the team his senior year to an impressive 12-6-1 record.
“I was part of a rebuilding program [at St. Bonaventure],” Warner said. “Hopefully, I can bring my experiences in that regard as a player to this program.”
After college, Warner spent time in a D-3 professional soccer league with the Roanoke Wrath, and in 1998 he earned himself a spot in the training camp of the Rochester Rhinos.
Warner comes to Cornell with seven years of coaching experience in Divisions I, II, and III of college soccer. Before joining the Red, he spent four years as an assistant coach at Colgate, helping the team to 11-6-1 record last year, one of the best seasons in Colgate’s history.
As a coach with the Red Raiders, Warner is familiar with recent Cornell teams. Colgate handed Cornell a 3-0 loss early in the 2004 season. Remembering his previous encounters with the Red, Warner praised Scales for the changes he’s made to the team’s system this year.
“What I like about coach Scales is he plays with what he has. He doesn’t necessarily have just one system that he likes in particular,” Warner said. “You get the players that you have and you’ve got to adjust to what their abilities are. This year we’re playing a 4-4-2 rather than a 3-5-2. I think that’s going to help us to attack out of the back much easier and quicker.”
Several factors contributed to Warner’s decision to leave a successful program at Colgate that he helped build and join a Cornell team looking to turn things around in 2005.
“I do like the challenge. I like trying to rebuild programs. I did that at Bonaventure, and I helped out with that at Colgate,” Warner said. “But, the biggest thing is I really respect coach Scales and that was a big influence. I think our philosophies mesh well together and I’ve learned a lot from coach Scales and hopefully I’m bringing something to the table as well.”
In his short tenure with the team, Warner has been impressed with chemistry and level of competition amongst this year’s group. Recognizing the many obstacles ahead for the Red, Warner is optimistic in his goals for the coming season.
“I think our goal right now is to win the Ivy League. Yes, we’ll be young and inexperienced but we’re hoping our talent is enough to win the Ivy League,” he said. “Our goal is really to try and push and get there so these younger guys can get that hunger for the future.”
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer