TCU soccer head coach Eric Bell has announced the hiring of Sebastian Vecchio as an assistant coach with the program. Vecchio will assume the role of coaching the goalkeepers as well as undertaking various administrative duties.
“We are very excited for Sebastian to join our staff,” said Bell. “He’s recently married and we are looking forward to getting his family settled in here in Fort Worth. I think he is going to do a tremendous job here. He is a very hard-working man that has a lot of experience in women’s college soccer. I think he is going to provide some new ideas for us here going forward.”
“The opportunity to work with coach Bell, coach Higginbotham and at TCU was what I wanted to do,” said Vecchio. “TCU is big-time athletics. I knew I wanted to coach at a school that has high academics but also supports athletics in a big way. Working with Eric and Ryan in a program that is up and coming is what’s so exciting about this opportunity.”
Vecchio comes to TCU after spending the past five seasons in a similar role at Vanderbilt. He has also served coaching stints at Rice and at his alma mater, Memphis.
“I learned a long time ago as a head coach you have to prepare for your assistants to leave at some point, so I had a list of coaches that I would talk to in that case. He was on the list,” said Bell. “I was excited about him because of his goalkeeping experience as well as his enthusiasm to do well. He’s the type of guy, like me, that wants to roll up his sleeves and get after it.”
In five seasons with the Commodores, Vecchio’s goalkeepers posted 22 shutouts. At the same time, the school’s recruiting profile has quickly rose thanks in part to Vecchio’s tireless work ethic. His 2013 recruiting class was ranked No. 25 nationally.
“I bring a lot of energy and I’m a hard worker. I like to get after it,” said Vecchio. “I have lots of experience, even though I’m young. I’ve worked with three different programs that have all been successful. I’m not limited to just coaching the goalkeepers. I can bring a lot of things to the table, whatever Coach Bell needs.”
His tenure at Vanderbilt saw him mentor two NSCAA All Regions players, two All-SEC selections, four SEC All-Freshmen team members, one Academic All American, one Scholar Athlete of the Year, three SEC community service awards, 32 SEC Academic Honor roll and several SEC player of the week honors.
Vecchio joined the Commodores after a one-year stop at Rice. He trained goalkeepers for the Owls while assisting in the coordination of the program’s recruiting efforts. Vecchio was also responsible for scheduling and budget management. Then-junior goalkeeper Meghan Erkel flourished under Vecchio, leading Conference USA in save percentage (.845) and saves per game (5.17).
Prior to coaching at Rice, Vecchio was the assistant and goalkeeper coach at his alma mater, the University of Memphis, from 2005 to 2009. In four seasons with the Tigers, Vecchio’s goalkeepers combined to post 33 shutouts and 54 victories.
In the summer of 2009, Vecchio served as the interim assistant director of coaching for the Alabama Youth Soccer Association in Birmingham while assisting in the Olympic Development Program.
As a player, Vecchio was a two-year starter for the Tigers after transferring to Memphis from Mid-Continent College in Kentucky. He allowed just 12 goals in over 1,500 minutes of play during the 2004 season, for a school record 0.69 goals-against average, en route to being named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-Conference USA selection. The native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, ended his Tiger career with a school-low 1.02 goals-against average and 21 wins in two seasons.
After completing his playing career with the Memphis men’s soccer team in 2004, Vecchio stepped over into the coaching ranks with the women’s program as an assistant coach in charge of goalkeepers. He also assisted with recruiting.
Vecchio earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Memphis in 2005 and a bachelor’s in sports and leisure management in 2008. Out of the classroom, he has a USSF National C. License and NSCAA National Goalkeeping diploma.
Prior to his collegiate playing days, Vecchio played with the Argentina U-16 National Team.