This week, TMCC Athletics announces that Geoffrey Hawkins will assume the role of Head Coach for the Mighty Lizards men’s and women’s soccer teams. Hawkins comes to TMCC directly from the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) where he served as Director of Soccer. Hawkins started his soccer career at a young age and after several years in year-round youth leagues, advanced to play collegiate soccer at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. While there, he received an undergraduate degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in teaching and coaching. He also holds a law degree from Marquette.
Outside of coaching at the collegiate level, Hawkins holds an “A” license from the United States Soccer Federation and he has worked developing players at the collegiate, high school, and club levels for over 20 years. He has also served as general manager for a Premier Developmental League Team.
The move to Northern Nevada is one that Hawkins admits he’s excited about, with the end-goal of building a winning 2020 season, which begins with recruiting quality student-athletes. Hawkins defines his ideal student-athlete as one who has a desire to excel in an academic college environment, possesses technical skills on the soccer field, and a strong character.
“I want to build a solid foundation and structure, with an emphasis on recruiting quality student-athletes who will be able to maintain high grades in their academic classes,” Hawkins said. This, along with a strong schedule with upper-echelon teams in the Scenic West Conference will enable the Mighty Lizards to focus on gaining valuable skills on the field, hopefully with more meaningful wins than losses.
“We are fortunate to have hired a coach with Geoff’s background and prior experience of building a program at CSN,” said TMCC Athletic Director Dr. Tina Ruff. “He brings a wealth of experience from both an NSHE and an NJCAA / Scenic West perspective. Geoff is a consummate professional and will provide the necessary structure and discipline our students need and are yearning for.”
In addition to building, training and managing TMCC’s student-athletes, Hawkins will, according to Ruff, “build the blueprint that TMCC needs for future growth.” This includes helping with the implementation and programming at TMCC’s new Sports and Fitness Center, which is slated to open early in the 2020 spring semester. “He brings that knowledge and wealth of experience we need to get that new program and facility off the ground,” said Ruff.
This, too, is work that Hawkins says is a part of the job: “The facilities at TMCC are on-par with those at other high-level NCAA programs. I’m really thrilled about the facilities at TMCC. Having a grass field with lights and the accompanying fitness center really elevates what student-athletes have available to them. This is a premier opportunity for students looking for a college education and the opportunity to play collegiate soccer in Northern Nevada,” Hawkins said.
Yet, the lifestyle of a student-athlete offers prospective students a unique opportunity to gain skills that are useful well beyond the soccer pitch. “The value of being a student-athlete is that it teaches you hard work and to set goals, and to achieve those goals even when you’re faced with adversity,” said Hawkins. “You’re able to access academic enrichment and physical practice as a package of applicable life lessons that prepare student-athletes for the adversities they will face later in life. It really teaches you how to bounce back and how to push through challenges.”
It’s work that Hawkins, as a coach, finds incredibly rewarding, and perhaps that is what has compelled him to develop his impressive coaching career at the community-college level. “The impact you can make on a community college student is significant,” said Hawkins. “Student-athletes who come to community colleges are often different than those at four-year institutions. Sometimes, there are socio-economic differences; other times, they are first-generation students. So, you can make a positive impact on their lives and put them on a path to become not only leaders in their own lives but leaders in their communities.”
For more information about TMCC Athletics, contact the department at 775-673-7135.