Robin Confer looks to bring attacking mindset to UNF

Andrew Nichols

Confer_Head_Coach
Osprey women’s head soccer coach Robin Confer.
Photo credit: Zach Shoenheide

Growing up in Clearwater, Fla., Robin Confer was always an active kid. With parental guidance, she focused her energy in soccer, which guided her through a record setting college career and eventually leading her to become a player on a U.S. national team. She now has her first head coaching job at UNF.

Following an Atlantic Sun Conference Championship appearance in the 2011-2012 season, the UNF women’s soccer team only posted six wins last year.

UNF allowed 27 goals and scored 28, 10 of them coming against the University of Arkansas Pine-Bluff. It was clear that the team needed to step up offensively.

She was announced head coach of the Ospreys on Dec. 22. Confer has developed her own style through assisting at the top level and hopes to change the team’s disappointing stats.

“I’ve been fortunate to be able to coach under four different coaches at FSU, Georgia and Texas A&M. I’ve worked with some great coaches that have taught me a lot about how to run a program and be successful,” Confer said. “I like possession style of soccer with a dynamic attacking offense.”

Going forward, Confer told the team that everything is going to be based off hard work and attitude, because those are the only things that a player can influence in a game.

“I’m a competitive person,” Confer said. “There’s always going to be an aspect of competition in training sessions. We’re going to be fit.”

Alex Herman said the team will have to adjust to a new coaching style, but they are excited with what Confer has to offer to the program.

“I’ve been with Linda (Hamilton) my last three years. You get used to something for so long and I think we just came together and said we have to get a new mindset,” Herman said. “I’m excited to see what formation we’re going to play and the new team with freshman coming in to add to the group we have.”

Herman added that it’s important for Confer to come at the start of spring so she can get to know them as players in regards to their positions and how they play together, as well as for them to get used to her style of coaching.

Athletic Director Moon said in a previous Spinnaker article, that the program is excited to have her experience as a player and coach at the helm.

“I think she’s going to give us a real good experience in recruiting,” Moon said. “Being born and raised in Florida, coaching at Florida State  and recruiting from within the state while at Georgia, I think she will expand our base.”

Confer is excited to be back where she grew up, with family closer and the opportunities UNF has to offer.

Her history as a player contributes to the attacking style of play Confer has in store for the Ospreys, leading UNC as the National Player of the Year in 1997.

Herman said it’s been great to have personnel such as Hamilton and Confer.

“I think its good that we can learn from these players who have played at the highest level and we respect that they have gone to that highest level,” Herman said. “We think it’s great that Robin has come in and we really like her a lot.”

Confer already has things she wants to improve upon moving forward into the spring after losing some core seniors, but feels a conference championship and advancing to the NCAA tournament is attainable.

“Playing quicker. Not in terms of the pace we’re playing but in decision making,” Confer said. “They lost a large, talented senior class but there are some talented players coming in the fall. Combining that with what’s here, the potential to win championships is here.”

The team continues its spring training and will compete in games in the spring season, giving the new coach a chance to see what the team can do.