Joe Vari comes to Bates College from University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Submitted photo courtesy of University of Puget Sound

Joe Vari was named the new head coach of the Bates College women’s soccer program on Thursday, Bates Director of Athletics Jason Fein announced.

Vari, who comes to Bates from University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, is the eighth head coach in the program’s 39-year history. He takes over for Kelsy Ross, who stepped down after eight years at the helm to become the new athletic director at North Yarmouth Academy in Yarmouth.

“After an extensive national search, we are thrilled that Joe is joining our team as head coach of women’s soccer,” Fein said in a press release. “While he has a stellar record at competitive Division III institutions, he also understands the pressures on today’s student-athletes, as well as the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between strong academics, well-being, and peak performance on the field. We look forward to getting him on board this summer.”

“I feel that Bates is a sleeping giant with great potential,” Vari said in the release. “I think this is one of the best jobs in Division III and I know the challenges that are ahead to build a successful program in this conference.”

Vari coached at Puget Sound for three seasons, and compiled a 39-14-8 record, including a Northwest Conference championship and NCAA tournament appearance this past fall.

Prior to that he had stops at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee — where he was the women’s head coach and men’s and women’s assistant before that — and Lynchburg College in Virginia, where he got his career started as an assistant coach. Vari graduated from Hiram College in Ohio in 2003. He was the men’s team’s goalie for four seasons.

All of Vari’s coaching jobs have been at Division III schools like Bates.

“I love Division III athletes, as they are self-starters, driven, and able to experience the true meaning of being a student-athlete,” he said in the release. “I’ve always enjoyed working at strong academic institutions, and Bates and the NESCAC are in a league of their own for academics and athletics.”

Vari said in the press release that his new team’s goal “will always be to play as many games in November as we possibly can.

“I think that we can build something special here at Bates.”

The Bobcats went 5-10 in 2018, including 0-10 in NESCAC games. They last won the conference championship in 2005.

Joe Vari comes to Bates College from University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Submitted photo courtesy of University of Puget Sound

filed under: