GVSU replaces DiIanni with Alma's Hosler
New soccer coach to seek sustainability and progression
In 2006, Jeff Hosler was hired to turn around a struggling women’s soccer program at Alma College. The year prior to Hosler’s hire, the Scots limped through a 5-14-1 season – numbers that weren’t foreign to the program. After two more years in which Alma posted an 11-19-4 overall record, Hosler and the new guard began to shine. As his recruits came in and his coaching style took place, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association took notice. Alma shot up the ranks, becoming a force to be reckoned with in the MIAA. Since 2008, the Scots have enjoyed success to the tune of a 54-15-6 record.
On June 27, Grand Valley State University Director of Athletics Tim Selgo named Hosler the new head coach of the GVSU women’s soccer team. This time around, Hosler’s role is slightly different. Turning the program around is the last thing the Lakers need. Rather, it will be Hosler’s job to continue the development of a program that has been downright unstoppable for years.
In May, GVSU coach Dave DiIanni took the head coaching job at the University of Iowa. Since assuming the position at GVSU in 2003, DiIanni experienced dreamlike success with a career winning percentage of .895 over the course of 11 seasons. When DiIanni’s position opened up, the suitors predictably came calling. The allure of a successful program and an established tradition led GVSU to fielding what Selgo described as, “One of the best pools of talent we’ve ever had for a coaching position.”
Hosler was ultimately the man chosen for the job. His ability to recruit, build a stable program and teach the sport was especially intriguing to the search committee.
“We needed a coach that could not only lead us in the short term, but also has the potential to grow and develop in the long term,” Selgo said. “(Hosler) has been loyal, dedicated and committed to Alma but he was clearly at the point where we has ready for the next challenge.”
Alma College competes in the NCAA Division III, making Hosler’s Division II coaching experience nonexistent, but, like DiIanni, Hosler will be doing whatever it takes to be successful at the next level. In the past nine seasons, Alma has matched up against one GLIAC school each year. Additionally, Hosler has seen the Lakers play in person multiple times during his coaching tenure.
One similarity he found between his former program and his current is that both seem to have the same logo tattooed on their backs: a target. In his latter years at Alma, the Scots were consistently in competition for the MIAA crown, and Hosler and his squad quickly came to expect the best effort from each and every foe. At GVSU, he knows it will be no different, which is why Hosler expects “more wrinkles than wholesale changes” in his coaching going forward.
At Alma, Hosler primarily used a 4-3-3 setup, tweaking it here and there to accommodate the needs of his teams and the strengths of his players. At GVSU, he expects to take a similar approach, but said he is more set on adjusting to the Lakers’ skill set than any certain formations. Listening, giving feedback and maintaining flexibility are high priorities on Hosler’s new clipboard.
“My strength is communication,” he said. “Relationships are vital to success.
“I’ll hold my players to a high level, a high standard. There’s no question that (DiIanni) established first-class skill and a goal of ours will be sustainability and progression.”
For now, Laker Nation can take optimistic solace in the assurance that its women’s soccer program is in the hands of an established winner, a proven teacher and, above all, an ambitious coach.