Written by Brian Vail
August 23, 2018
Image credit: Wilson Tsoi
As men’s soccer is in full swing, this fall could be one of notable milestones not only for the team but also for longtime head coach Pete Fewing, who is in the midst of coaching his 25th year at Seattle University.
Since taking the coaching job, Fewing has helped lead the men’s program to a pair of national championships and five Western Athletic Conference Championships.
On Sept. 9, he coached his 500th career game. And with 11 more wins, Fewing will claim his 300th career victory. Considering the Redhawks are one of five programs to win at least 11 games in each of the last five seasons, expectations are high that Fewing will secure that notable achievement this season.Students who have played for Fewing live by the coach’s motto—or more aptly, his mantra: “It’s important what we do on the field. It’s more important what we do off the field. And it’s most important what we do after the field.”
The Redhawks have been successful on the field, as Fewing and his staff work tirelessly to recruit and develop elite players. Off the field, team players excel in the classroom, work with local youth programs and host summer camps. “After the field,” however, is where Fewing is most proud of his program and the sense of unity and tradition among alumni.
“It’s my nature to help create relationships,” he says. “I love the game and what it provides. I would say that I talk with a former player of mine seven days a week. Sometimes it’s just to check in, other times it’s to try to help with bigger decisions.”
“He’s really a father figure to a lot of people,” says Bobby McAlister, ’05, who was a member of SU’s 2004 NCAA Division II National Championship team. “Pete’s great at getting people together and making alumni feel comfortable. I think he gets joy from making those connections.”
Hamza Haddadi, ’16, a key player in SU’s run to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2015, says the coach instills life lessons that go beyond the pitch.“It’s kind of a trick that he pulls,” explains Haddadi. “He tries to teach you all these little things off the field—making sure the details are right, focusing on helping people—and in the end, they help you on the field. The things he is teaching end up making you a better player and better person.”
Season ticket holder alumnus Joe Zavaglia, ’72, spearheaded the birth of the men’s soccer program at Seattle U in 1967 and has seen the evolution—and lasting success—of the program under the guidance of Coach Fewing.
“The men’s soccer program at Seattle U has a legacy of building character and being other-centric,” Zavaglia says. “It’s important to win soccer games, but it’s more about making a difference in the world.”
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