Hilary Coder begins this year as Exeter's Girls Varsity Soccer Coach with the same energy and enthusiasm that has been her trademark from day one in 1983. "I'm completely spoiled here at Exeter. Does the fact that I know I'm spoiled make that okay?" She lists the bright, hard-working and mature teenagers she gets to work with as gift number one. Add to that the numerous resources (athletic trainers, nutritionists, strength and conditioning specialists), the school and programs' history and the high caliber of colleagues and the result is a top notch experience for anyone that chooses to play soccer at Exeter.
Exeter soccer teams expect to reach deep into the tournament every year having made the eight team New England Prep School Tournament for 12 of the last 14. Exeter has been in the final 6 times. Coach Coder's philosophy is strikingly simple: "I'll take team chemistry and work ethic over flash of an individual player any day. An athlete who is willing to sacrifice their personal glory to make the team better is the one who impacts our team in the best and most significant way." She believes that deliberately building team dynamics through hard work, clearly established team goals and a willingness to spend the time with individuals as they mature is the best approach.
Coach Coder earned her degree from The Pennsylvania State University. Her first summer as Exeter's coach was spent in Manchester, England immersed in soccer at the Manchester United training grounds. She also has expertise in speed development, psychological principles and a teen's specific physiological fitness needs. She has two sons; Kelly '04 and Vaughan '08 who can brag that their grandfather was the chosen USA goalkeeper for the 1956 Olympic Soccer Team.
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Girls Cross Country
Gwyn Coogan has been coaching Cross Country at Phillips Exeter Academy since 2004. The 1983 Exeter graduate took up track for the first time at Smith College, where she went on to capture two NCAA Division III Championships in the 3,000 meters. She represented the USA on 5 World Cross Country Teams and ran the 10,000 meters for the United States at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.
With their own all dirt 5K Cross Country course on campus and the Exeter Town Forest a mile from campus, the team can stay local for most of their training, which includes tempo runs, farleks, pool running, plyometrics, hills, some track work, distance runs and of course cross training to help prevent injuries. Though the team meets to train 6 days a week, all training is geared to each individual's abilities and fitness. Twenty-eight girls' make up the girls Cross Country squad with times ranging from 19 minutes for a 5K to 27 minutes for a 5K.
PEA Girls XC seeks out as competitive a schedule as possible each year including invitational events here at their own PEACC race, at Choate, and at Northfield Mount Hermon. They travel to Boston to race in the Cod Fish Bowl at Franklin Park, and have numerous dual meets both home and away.
A member of Exeter's math faculty, Coogan holds a bachelor's degree from Smith and a doctorate from the University of Colorado. She has three children, one who attends Georgetown University, one who attends Phillips Exeter Academy and one who was dubbed Mr. Baseball by the local press simply because of his passion for the sport both as a player and as a fan.
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Boys Cross Country
Nick Unger makes his head coaching debut this year, after serving as assistant coach under Mark Coogan for three years. Coach Unger inherits a dominant program that has won three New England Championships in the past four years, and he hopes to continue this tradition of excellence. "Lasse Viren, the 'Flying Finn,' has always been my idol," says Unger, "and I try to instill in my runners a trait he embodied: sisu, which, roughly translated, means courage, fortitude, and love of the woods. "By the way, our pre-race cheer is also Finnish, but you'll have to join the team to find out what that means." Before coming to Exeter, coach Unger was the head varsity coach of girls cross country for five years at St. Mark's School in Southborough, MA.
A member of the classics department, coach Unger earned his bachelor's degree at Yale University and his master's at University of California at Berkeley. Graduating from Exeter in 1990, he was co-captain of the cross country team under legendary coach Dave Weber.
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A.J. Cosgrove began working with the Exeter Soccer program in 1994. After spending his first year as the head JV coach, Coach Cosgrove assisted Coach Bill Dennehy with Boys Varsity Soccer for 13 years before assuming the responsibilities of head coach in 2008. Our team goal is simple; "We want to win the next game". The team has made the New England Class A tournament 3 of the past 5 seasons.
"Character, work ethic, athleticism, and of course soccer talent are the traits that I value the most in my players. Although many of our varsity players play soccer year round, the majority of our players are active in at least one additional varsity sport at Exeter. This is something that I take pride in encouraging and maintaining."
A member of the Science Department at Exeter since 1993, Cosgrove earned his undergraduate degree in physics from Geneseo State University in New York, and his Masters in Education from UMASS - Amherst.
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Don Mills started with the water polo program in 2002 as an assistant under legendary coach and program founder Roger Nekton. Mills assumed the head job in 2005 of both the water polo and swimming teams and his teams have gone on to win three New England titles and earn eight all-American honors.
Mills is a member of the physical education department since '02 and serves as the Director of the Ninth Grade Physical Education Program. The Plymouth State University grad is also the head coach of the varsity cycling team which has earned seven New England titles.
Coach Mills heads Wentworth Hall where he resides with his wife Susan, daughter Audrey and son Charlie. The three time all-American tri-athlete is a proponent of physical fitness for the entire Exeter community. Mills' philosophy; "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care".
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Bruce Shang came to Exeter in 2008 with a passion for teaching, fitness and sports. Since joining the PE department he has had the opportunity to coach a multitude of sports, including his personal favorite, volleyball. He has been lucky enough to be head coach of girls' varsity volleyball since 2011. This year, Shang is thrilled to be coaching boys' varsity volleyball, a program brand new to the school in the spring of 2014.
Before joining the volleyball program, Shang coached boys' varsity soccer, junior varsity basketball, varsity winter track, and varsity spring track. During the winter seasons, Coach Shang works with varsity and junior varsity squash.
Bruce Shang has a B.S. in Exercise Science from Rutgers University and a M.A. in Health Education from The College of New Jersey. He served as an assistant coach to the Rutgers University women's volleyball team for 3 years. Coach Shang was the head coach of SF Juniors Volleyball Club, and participated as head coach for the following volleyball camps: Nike, University of San Francisco, Rutgers University, and Fairfield University. In the past he has worked as an ACE certified personal trainer at New York Sports Club.
Prior to coming to Exeter, Shang was teaching and coaching at The San Francisco School. At S.F.S. he was the athletic director, physical education teacher, and health education teacher. He also coached the cross-country team, junior varsity and varsity volleyball, junior varsity and varsity boy's and girl's basketball teams, and junior varsity and varsity futsal soccer teams.
Bruce Shang is a NSCA certified strength and conditioning coach. He's obtained a level 1 certification in Track and Field, a level 1, 2, and 3, certification in Goalkeeping, and received a NSCAA national diploma for soccer.
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