Stephanie Webb discusses working at Guilford


Guilford College Women’s Soccer Head Coach Stephanie Webb.//Photo Courtesy Guilford Athletics/

Guilford College introduced coach Stephanie Webb as the 10th head women’s soccer coach in the history of the team. Webb comes to the Quakers from the Queens University of Charlotte, a program that finished 10-7 in 2016. A native of Portsmouth, England, Webb played at Stetson University and graduated in 2009.

Although this is her first college head coaching position, Webb experience lies within her credentials. She holds a Union of European Football Association B Part 2 Coaching Badge, an Advanced National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and a National Youth License. Webb sat down with Guilfordian for a Q&A feature.

Q: What brought you to Guilford?

A: “Just the opportunity that was presented. I knew the school was looking for a new head coach. I looked into the program, and seeing the values that the school adhered to resonated with me.”

Q: Is there anything from Queens University that you wanted to bring to Guilford?

A: “My coaching philosophy. Wherever I’ve coached, I have tried to instill that the team is bigger than one person and that everyone has a purpose and a role on the team. I want my players to know that.”

Q: What challenges have you faced (or expect to face) at Guilford?

A: “I think that being a Division III school, making sure we have enough bodies for the team and having enough healthy bodies on the team. I think that is the biggest challenge for any program. Right now, (our goal is) maintaining and making sure everyone’s healthy to put us in the best possible situation to be successful.

Q: Have you had to adjust any player depths that may have existed prior to you coming in?

A: “Coming in only three months ago, it was difficult trying to recruit new players. But I think the old coaching staff and, obviously Anna (Smither) who is still here, did a really good job of recruiting first-years. Everyone on our team has a role and can impact our team in some way, whether that’s on or off the field. So, for me, making sure we have good enough numbers for us to be successful on the field is just as important as making sure we have good culture off the field by having the right amount of bodies. That’s important to me because I want us to feel like a family.”

Q: Do you feel respected by the players, especially the veteran ones, as a new coach coming in?

A: “I think they are very respectful, and they work hard. We emphasize making ourselves better every day and have that as a constant reminder. I pride myself on communicating with them and constantly remind them why they are here and what they want to achieve. I think with us having that culture and making sure everyone (on the team) knows they are a part of it helps them work harder for each other. I think they still getting used to me as a coach because myself and the previous head coach are very different. Having a strong culture with the team is important to me, and with that, everything else will follow.”

Q: How do you feel about the culture on Guilford’s campus as a whole?

A: “The school enables every student and student athlete to experience the real world and to realize that everyone is different and has different opinions, but as long as they have a consensus and drive to achieve the same thing, then it’s okay. That’s what I try to reinforce in our team. Everyone is different. Their reactions to things are different. Their perceptions of things are different. It’s so important that we listen to each other and after listening, we formulate what’s the best for our team.

Q: How would you describe your coaching philosophy?

A: “I put a lot of more ownership on the players. The way I coach is ‘Hey, I’m here for you and, depending on what you want as a team, I’ll help you get there.’ I have standards and expectations, but I think it’s important to know what the standards and expectations are from the team itself so we are all on the same page. I can hold certain expectations, but if that’s not what they want too, then it won’t be a good relationship. It’s their program and I’m just here to help put them back on track when they need it. I want them to take ownership, but they can come to me, and we can problem solve together. Players are so used to being told what to do and when to do it, but for me it’s like ‘no every situation is different.’ It’s okay to treat every situation differently because we are always growing and evolving.”

Q: What’s living in Greensboro like compared to Charlotte?

A: “I was so busy in Charlotte that I probably didn’t get to experience it to its fullest. I’ve been a girl that likes to be close to the city, but not too far away. In that regard, I appreciate the lack of traffic in comparison to Charlotte, so that’s a definite plus. But both places are gorgeous and are both close to mountains and beaches so in some ways they are pretty similar, but Charlotte is undoubtedly bigger. So, I actually prefer Greensboro because of the less hustle and bustle.”

Q: What’s your favorite animal?

A: “I always liked monkeys, I don’t know, I think they are pretty awesome. Every personality of a monkey is very different. Back in England, we have a place called Monkey World and just watching them, seeing their brains turning and them problem solving is great because they are so smart and, in England we use the phrase, ‘very cheeky.’ I like the personalities that they show.”

Q: How long did you live in England?

A: “I moved here when I was about 20, but all my family is still back in England. It’s a great place if you like history. I do miss seeing the buildings and the certain parts of the country that are so angelic.”

Q: Do you have a favorite club team?

A: “Yes, sad to say right now, but Liverpool. They are sort of struggling a little bit, but I have faith in (the team’s manager Jürgen) Klopp. I think he’s a fantastic coach, and with what he has, I think he does as well as he can.”