Former Amherst Assistant Rineer Set For First Season as Interim Head Coach of Haverford

Contact: Ben Badua

Rineer was named the interim head coach at
Haverford after a year-long stint at Amherst.

HAVERFORD, Pa. – After a successful year-long stint with the Lord Jeffs, former Amherst men’s soccer assistant coach Shane Rineer accepted a position as the interim head coach at Haverford College.

“I’m really happy for Shane. He was a great asset to our program and we will miss his many contributions,” said head coach Justin Serpone. “Our program takes a lot of pride in being a destination for young coaches who want to develop and gain the necessary experience to further their careers and I have no doubt Shane will be successful.”

A 2006 graduate of Eastern University, Rineer began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater. He later arrived in the Pioneer Valley after serving as an assistant coach at Division I Villanova University for two seasons.

Last year, he played an instrumental role in guiding Amherst to a 13-2-4 overall record and 5-1-3 league ledger. Despite suffering a semifinal loss in the NESCAC Championship to top-seeded Middlebury, the Lord Jeffs secured their fifth-consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament, defeating Plattsburgh St. and Saint Lawrence in the opening rounds before dropping a match in penalty kicks to fellow league rival Bowdoin.

Rineer recently sat down with Amherst sports information to reflect on his time as an assistant coach with the Lord Jeffs and to talk about his new role as the interim head coach of Haverford.

Rineer played a role in the development of
four All-NESCAC honorees last season.

On his time at Amherst…
It was great. Working with Justin – along with other members of the athletic department – really allowed me to get the Division III experience back. I was away from it for a little bit while I was at Villanova, but being at Amherst helped me realize that Division III is where I want to be going forward. My time there also helped me realize that I wanted to be a part of an institution that took its academics as seriously as it does its athletics. Amherst student-athletes possess a drive to excel both in the classroom and on the field of play and that’s the type of atmosphere and culture I’d like to partake in as I move forward with my career.”

On how his experiences as an assistant coach have prepared him for his first head coaching position…
I’ve done recruiting and ran practices at every level throughout my time as an assistant coach, but I think the one thing I can draw upon, specifically from my experience at Amherst, is the time I spent being Justin’s right hand man. He really allowed me to get involved in all aspects of the program, from handling the smaller day-to-day tasks, to practices, recruiting and setting up banquets and junior day. It was really the first time I had the opportunity learn about the daily ins and outs of running a team. I was doing the paperwork, attending all the staff meetings and just being involved with every part of what we were trying to accomplish and I think that really helped me prepare for this job.”

On his transition to Haverford…
It’s been great. I think Amherst and Haverford have a lot of things in common. Both are highly academic schools and are both also highly competitive in soccer, and because of those similarities I think the transition has been pretty smooth.”

On his adjustment from an assistant to head coaching position…
I think the one thing I’ve quickly learned is that you’re always on. You’re the head guy. You’re name goes on everything. You’re in charge. There are a lot of things that you can forget about and now that I’m in this position there are times when I think, ‘Wow, as a head coach there’s a lot more to do then what you thought.’  Here, I’ll be in charge of 28 young men and you’re always on your toes and responsible for them – and not just on the soccer field, but in life in general. You’re their father figure for eight out of the 12 months that they’re around. It’s just something you have to get used to and step into, but the guys have been great and they’ve helped me transition pretty well. It’s an exciting time.”

In 2010 the Lord Jeffs ranked first in the
NESCAC in goals allowed and goals per game.

On what he took away from the team’s preseason trip to Sweden…
Sweden was great. It was a nice education into how much Europe has to offer and how different the lifestyle was out there compared to America. To be able to tour around and see the differences in culture were huge for me personally, having never been out of the country. Also, to be able to see a different level of soccer as a whole was good for our guys. But, I think the one big thing I’ll get to take away from it, was that I finally got to meet everybody. It was nice for me to get to know the guys on more of a personal level because for the next three months it’ll just be: soccer, soccer, soccer.  I found out a lot about our student-athletes and their characteristics.”

On what he’s seen from his team's play this preseason…
I think we have a lot to build off of. We’re a young team. We have 13 sophomores, but we also have a lot of balance. We have eight seniors who are going to lead us through battles and have been through the Centennial conference. The future is bright here at Haverford and it’s a great situation for me to walk into.  Naturally I think there’s going to be some adjustments – from both my end and theirs. That’s what the trip exposed and now we have a week of preseason to work out the kinks, but we’ll be ready to go when we play Neumann in our first game.”

On the culture he hopes to create at Haverford…
I want us to be hard-working, to be a team that just never stops battling. We’re going to show up to play every game and battle you for 90 minutes. We’ll have our system and our style that we’ll want to play, but at the same time, we want to be able to win by just simply outworking you.”

On his expectations and goals for this season…
I think from a personal level, it’s my goal to take this team somewhere they haven’t been, which is the Centennial Conference playoffs. They’ve already made strides towards accomplishing that goal in the past, having missed last year’s playoffs by a game and we return nine of 11 starters. We want to send our seniors off with a bang and give them the best season they’ve ever had. They have the urge and we know we’re close. Now it’s just a matter of whether I can lead these guys and guide them there. Hopefully, we can just  get better every day and the guys enjoy the process that is college soccer and the grind.”

On Amherst heading into this season…
I think they’re going to be really good. In my opinion, they should be favored in the NESCAC and I think they’re going to have a great year. One of the hardest things about leaving those guys and leaving Justin was knowing how good their potential was to have an outstanding 2011 season.  I’d tell them to just work hard. That’s what’s gotten them to where they are. Listen to everything Justin has to say. He’s brilliant with the game and the motivation he has, coupled with their hard work will get them to where they want to go. They’re going to be missed. I’ll miss those guys a lot, but I think so long as they continue to work hard, stay disciplined and organized, they’ll have a wonderful year.”