Warren Wilson College names soccer-lacrosse complex in honor of former coach

Staff Reports
Steinbrecher coached Warren Wilson's men's soccer team from 1973 to 1978, compiling a 45-22-6 record with an NAIA District 6 title.

Warren Wilson College will name its soccer and lacrosse complex in honor of former coach Hank Steinbrecher, the school announced.

Steinbrecher coached Warren Wilson's men's soccer team from 1973 to 1978, compiling a 45-22-6 record with an NAIA District 6 title. He was named the NAIA Coach of the Year in 1975 before later becoming the secretary-general of the United States Soccer Federation.

“I am grateful for all of Hank’s contributions to the sport,” said Will Wilson, the current CEO of U.S. Soccer. “Inspiration is a theme when it comes to Hank. He is truly one of the game’s true pioneers. It is because of people like Hank whose shoulders we are standing on that will bring a third FIFA World Cup to America in 2026.”

Efforts to name the complex in honor of Steinbrecher began in February with $85,000 in gifts and pledges from more than 100 donors. After achieving its goal amount, the school says "Team Hank" is working to raise funds for an endowed scholarship in Steinbrecher's name.

Warren Wilson alumnus and Board of Trustees member Andy Scott said Steinbrecher has been influential in his life.

”The longest lasting and most influential mentor in my life has been Coach Hank Steinbrecher,” Scott said. “He has always been there for me, as a teacher and coach, friend, professional associate, and the finest citizen patriot I have ever known. Honoring Hank Steinbrecher for a life well-lived in the service to others was a mission I knew hundreds would want to participate in and support.”

Steinbrecher was instrumental in the creation of a women's soccer team after welcoming a female student onto the 1974 men's team. Diana Young Piava, who played on the women's team before graduating in 1980, said Steinbrecher allowed for progress to be made.

“Glenda Hurst Wells wanted a place to play and Hank gave her a place at the table,” Piava said.

Steinbrecher said his time at the college allowed him to develop in his career.

“Warren Wilson College served as the foundation of my long career in soccer,” Steinbrecher said. “As a team, we developed a very close bond that has lasted some 45 years. We as a team are still close. That team lives to my heart and they all have gone on to form successful lives. They have been hard-working, educated citizens. The lessons that I learned from the Warren Wilson College community were fundamental to my success in sport. I will always carry in my heart, the thoughts of our teams and our college.”

Following his time at Warren Wilson, Steinbrecher coached at Appalachian State University and Boston University before later joining U.S. Soccer. 

Steinbrecher has been selected into seven soccer hall of fame, including the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Warren Wilson College Hall of Fame in 2013.

Donated funds have been used to purchase a new scoreboard. The school says it plans to add more improvements to the complex in the future.