It seems as if the pipeline from NCAA Division III soccer powerhouse Messiah College to the professional Pittsburgh Riverhounds keeps growing.
The club announced today through a press release that they’ve added a new face to their coaching staff, Dan Visser as assistant coach, as he rejoins Riverhounds Head Coach Dave Brandt, and a few other Messiah alums, Jack Thompson and Nick Thompson.
Visser joins the club after spending the past season as assistant men’s soccer coach at the United States Naval Academy under Brandt and also played for Brandt at Messiah College.
“I am really excited to be here,” Visser said, through the Hounds media release.
“I played for Dave at Messiah, coached under him at the Naval Academy. I fully believe in where the club is going and I’m looking forward to being a part of that. I know it’s been a bit slow going this year, but progress takes time and I think we’re going to get there.”
Coach Brandt is happy to have someone that is familiar with him — and what he’s trying to accomplish here in Pittsburgh.
“Dan is somebody I’ve known now for 12 years. I’ve coached him and watched him grow in terms of his coaching career,” Brandt said.
“He’s somebody who I think is a really sharp soccer person. He has some strengths where we need them and I think he will compliment Niko [Katic] and I really well.”
Prior to coaching on Brandt’s staff at Navy, Visser spent two seasons as head coach of Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts. In his two seasons with the Division III Lions, Visser compiled an 8-26-1 record. The Lions went 3-14-0 in 2013 before improving to 5-12-1 in 2014.
Current Hounds midfielder, and former teammate of Visser at Messiah, Nick Thompson took over the head coaching spot for Visser following his departure to Annapolis, Maryland.
Visser’s coaching career began at Division III Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. During his two years at Eastern, the Eagles went 21-11-2 and had 11 student-athletes earn all-conference honors.
Competing collegiately at Messiah College, Visser was a two-time team captain and received Regional All-America honors in 2007. Slotted as a midfielder, he helped the Falcons to an overall record of 89-6-2, including three national titles and a fourth trip to the NCAA Final Four.
Visser graduated Magna Cum Laude from Messiah in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics. He went on to earn his master’s degree in business administration at Eastern University in 2013.