Bates College Director of Athletics Jason Fein announced the appointment of University of Puget Sound head coach Joe Vari as the eighth head women's soccer coach in the program's 39-year history.
"I feel that Bates is a sleeping giant with great potential," Vari said. "I think this is one of the best jobs in Division III and I know the challenges that are ahead to build a successful program in this conference."
Vari has led Puget Sound, located in Tacoma, Wash., to a 39-14-8 record in three seasons as the Loggers' head coach, including a conference championship and an NCAA tournament appearance in 2018. He was named the 2018 Northwest Conference Coach of the Year.
"After an extensive national search, we are thrilled that Joe is joining our team as head coach of women's soccer," said Fein. "While he has a stellar record at competitive Division III institutions, he also understands the pressures on today's student-athletes, as well as the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between strong academics, well-being, and peak performance on the field. We look forward to getting him on board this summer."
Vari also won consistently as head coach at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., between 2009 and 2015, leading the Lynx to a 75-43-14 record over seven seasons. He additionally served as assistant athletic director there beginning in 2014.
Before becoming head coach at Rhodes, Vari was assistant coach for the men's and women's soccer teams at Rhodes. He got his coaching start as an assistant at Lynchburg College, where he earned a master's degree in counseling in 2006. Vari received a bachelor's degree in psychology in 2003 from Hiram College, where he was a goalkeeper for four years. Puget Sound, Rhodes, Lynchburg and Hiram are all Division III schools like Bates.
"I love Division III athletes, as they are self-starters, driven, and able to experience the true meaning of being a student-athlete," he said. "I've always enjoyed working at strong academic institutions, and Bates and the NESCAC are in a league of their own for academics and athletics."
Vari takes over a Bates program with an all-time record of 301-222-32 since its origin in 1980, including four NCAA tournament appearances and a NESCAC championship in 2005.
"Our goal will always be to play as many games in November as we possibly can," said Vari. "I think that we can build something special here at Bates."