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."
Chiara Caen enters her first season as an assistant coach for the Bates women’s soccer program. Prior to this role, Caen served as the head coach of William T. Dwyer High School varsity soccer in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. During her first season as head coach, she guided the Panthers to the semifinals of their league and rounded out the season with an 11-6 record. In her second year, she led the Panthers to another playoff appearance. She was nominated for Coach of the Year for the North Division in Palm Beach County in 2018 and in 2019 received the Coach of the Year for the North Division in Palm Beach County. From 2014-2017, Caen served as Dwyer’s junior varsity head coach. Also, Caen taught and coached the Dwyer Speech and Debate team and guided six students to two different national tournaments. Caen was a member of the National Speech and Debate Association, Degree of Distinction. Caen was also the Panthers' junior varsity lacrosse coach from 2016-2019.
Caen graduated with a dual major at the University of Hartford and obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education and Integrated Elementary Education with a concentration in Interdisciplinary Behavioral Studies. While at the University of Hartford she was a member of the women’s soccer team. During her time at the University of Hartford, Caen was part of the 2006 America East regular season and tournament championship team. Additionally, that year the Hawks made their 13th NCAA tournament appearance and after the 2006 season, Caen and the Hawks made two America East tournament appearances in 2007 and 2008. During Caen’s athletic and academic career she received the America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll award, University of Hartford Soccer Excellence Award and the University of Hartford Scholar Athlete Award. After graduating in 2009, Caen competed at the amateur level, with the New York Athletic Club in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. In 2011-2012, Caen became an amateur boxer in the state of New York and competed in two boxing events.
In 2018, Caen graduated with a Masters of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University. While Caen was enrolled at Georgetown, she was one of 22 students selected to participate in Georgetown University's first FC Barcelona Study Tour in Barcelona, Spain. During this study tour, Caen and her classmates conferred with FC Barcelona’s executive team members. Furthermore, Caen was nominated for The Hoya Professional 30 award.
Caen is originally from Long Island, New York. She now resides in Lewiston with her dog, Batty.