Luke Helling-Christy has always wanted to coach soccer at the collegiate level.
Helling-Christy, who previously coached the Bonney Lake High School girls and boys soccer programs, has been hired as the Pierce Raiders first coach for its women’s soccer program.
“Luke has built two outstanding programs at Bonney Lake and has established himself as one of the up-and-coming coaches in the region,” Pierce College Athletic Director Duncan Stevenson said. “We feel very fortunate to have a coach of his caliber to lead our new program in its inaugural season.”
Helling-Christy said it’s an awesome opportunity in his backyard.
“I have been a member of the soccer community for a while and know how strong the women’s soccer players are in the area,” he said.
Helling-Christy accepted the position on July 3. For the past three weeks, he’s worked on the recruiting process.
“I’ve had to cram a year’s worth of planning into just a few weeks,” he said. “I have been pushing hard and have been calling every contact I have had in the past 10 years.
“I have strong connections with all of the South Puget Sound League high school teams,” Helling-Christy added. “Also, we have 13,000 students that go to Pierce, and we want to make them aware there is an opportunity to play soccer. We’re hoping we might be able to rejuvenate some careers.”
Open tryouts will take place Aug. 9-10. Helling-Christy said there will be room for 22 players on the team, but isn’t sure if the roster will end up being that large this year.
“We are working in the recruiting process and have some strong leads,” he said. “I really would like to find a strong goalie and have a couple of key defenders. We’re working hard right now.”