Pro-soccer Player to New Loomis Chaffee Coach

The following dialogue is an interview with the Girls Varsity Soccer coach Linda Hathorn. Coach Hathorn is the assistant director of the Loomis Chaffee Summer Program, and has moved into Carter Hall with her husband and daughter. Coach Hathorn is new to the girls soccer program, along with assistant coach Courtney Jackson.

Christina: So, how did you find Loomis Chaffee?

Coach Hathorn: My sister-in-law actually went to school here, played on the soccer and basketball team, and then came back and coached. So, I’ve always known Loomis, the soccer program, and the culture of excellence that comes along with it. When the opportunity came for the summer program, which balanced my love of organizing things, it seemed like a perfect fit for my family at the time.

Christina: How has your experience been working with the girls soccer team so far?

Coach Hathorn: It’s been really fun. I think dealing with the type of student that wants to come to Loomis, that strives for excellence the way they do, that has the motivation to deal with challenges and find solutions, is really, really fun for me. I get to challenge them in new ways, [and] they’re challenging me in some ways. I think a relationship like that fosters the best growth and development atmosphere.

Christina: What are your goals for the team this season?

Coach Hathorn: Well, my goals for the team are to keep that mindset of “I’m better today than I was yesterday, but not as good as I’ll be tomorrow” and to continue improving our performances within the game and game-to-game. I’m excited to see what happens!

Christina: What is your past experience with soccer? Where have you coached and played before?

Coach Hathorn: I played division one soccer in college, then I played semi-pro soccer because the professional league folded. In 2003, before I played with my national team in the World Cup, which is Canada, I got injured right before going to the Olympics. This lead me on the path to coaching. That incident really started me on my ‘teaching somebody else my position’ passion. Once I graduated college, I got a job at the Division One school, Northern Arizona University, where I was mentored under an incredibly passionate coach. From there, I was brought onto the Canadian Women’s National Team to be the video analyst for the senior women’s team. This opportunity turned into another opportunity that allowed me to coach youth national teams. I did that for about eight years, while I was still coaching college soccer and being an assistant at various division one and division two programs across the country from as far west as Arizona to as far east as UMaine, my alma mater. Eventually, I stepped away from coaching the national teams because I was the head coach for college soccer. After I became pregnant with my daughter, I stepped away from college coaching. Travel demands and the fact that my husband is also a head soccer coach just meant we knew what we wanted in terms of family and work life balance. However, I did coach club soccer for a while, and spent 2 or 3 years with FSA when the opportunity here at Loomis opened up. My husband and I decided, ‘it’s the right fit, let’s go for it’.

Christina: What was your experience like playing for a national team?

Coach Hathorn: It was so challenging and educational at the same time. It was tough, you know, from being a starter all the time to having a very specific role on the team. In hindsight, it’s probably the most valuable experience I could’ve ever had. I just kinda cherished every moment of it. I was very lucky to be in a college situation where my coach and teammates really supported my opportunity to play for the national team. So in the playing environment, it was absolutely amazing. In the coaching environment, which was challenging, the amount of learning that you have to do when you’re in that high pressure, high performance environment was and still remains extraordinary. To be able to learn from great coaches, both as a player and as a coach, is something I’m incredibly thankful for.

Christina: Lastly, what are you most looking forward to this year at Loomis Chaffee?

Coach Hathorn: Oh my gosh! I mean, that’s a loaded question. To be honest, this is maybe very silly, but I’m really looking forward to seeing the Island flood. I’m really looking forward to seeing that. And you know, getting to know the core of the Island and really getting to experience what that’s like. Also, I’m looking forward to getting some fun victories at home, to seeing a white-out game, and to a lot of Loomis traditions. I’ve only been here for a short period of time – mostly during the summer – so I’m excited to see how the student body really develops and grows and how my family grows with them.