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NCAA Nov 20, 2023

Mark Fetrow tabbed as new Villanova men’s soccer head coach as Tom Carlin retires

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Tom Carlin, Villanova’s head men’s soccer coach since 2008, has announced his retirement from coaching. Mark Fetrow, a former Wildcats’ associate head coach who led Drexel to a 9-2-5 record as its head coach in 2023, takes over for Carlin.

“Tom has been a wonderful steward of our men’s program for the last 16 years,” stated Villanova Vice President and Director of Athletics Mark Jackson. “On the pitch, he led Villanova to its first two NCAA Tournament appearances in program history and its only NCAA victory.

“Even more meaningful than that success on the field, has been the passion and vision Tom brought to Villanova. His program and student-athletes always represented our University with class. I want to personally thank Tom for his friendship and the incredible energy he poured into building Villanova Men’s Soccer. We are in a far better place today as a program than when Tom arrived, and he has been the driving force behind that progress.”

Carlin posted a 222-156-43 record in a career that began at his alma mater, Arcadia University, in 2000. In 2007, Carlin was hired as the associate head coach at Villanova and a year later was named its head coach. He is the program’s all-time leader in victories (122) guiding Villanova to the 2016 and 2021 NCAA Tournaments. A 1-0 victory at Vermont in 2021 gave the Wildcats their first NCAA Tournament victory.

“I am sincerely grateful to have worked alongside such amazing people and be blessed with the opportunity to live out my faith at this amazing Catholic university,” stated Carlin. “It truly is the personal relationships with my fellow coaches, administrators, student-athletes, and staff on campus that I will remember forever and miss the most. I look forward to spending more time with my wife Catara and our four beautiful girls. Lucy, Ciona, Tira, and Ciara.

“To have the opportunity to pass this program on to Mark Fetrow, one of the top head coaches in the country, is a blessing. It truly is a fairy tale ending to a 25-year coaching career and I owe all of it to Villanova University and the leadership of our President, Father Peter (Donohue) and Mark Jackson.”

Fetrow was a part of the Villanova staff from 2015-23, serving as associate head coach from 2019 through his departure last July for Drexel. A West Chester, Pa. native, Fetrow served as the top assistant at West Chester University before his stint at Villanova. Previously, he was a graduate assistant at Penn State, his alma mater, for one season.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring Mark, his wife Bryn and daughter Faith back to Villanova,” stated Jackson. “As a member of Tom’s staff, Mark played an essential role in the success we enjoyed, particularly in 2016 and 2021. He was involved in every aspect of the program, from teaching and strategy to recruiting and has an understanding of our University’s culture and mission. Mark made the successful transition to head coaching this past season and he’s the perfect person to lead Villanova Men’s Soccer into the future.”

“I am elated to be named the next Head Men’s Soccer coach at Villanova University,” said Fetrow. “I’m incredibly grateful to Mark Jackson, Father Peter, and the entire Villanova administration for their trust in me to lead the Men’s Soccer program. A heartfelt thank you goes to Tom Carlin for his guidance and tireless efforts in improving both the Men’s Soccer program and the Villanova Family as a whole. I am eagerly anticipating the opportunity to collaborate with the current and future Wildcats as we strengthen our dedication to success on the field, in academics, and within the community.

“Additionally, I want to extend my gratitude to Maisha Kelly, Nick Gannon, and Drexel University for providing me with my first head coaching position. I am confident that the Dragons will continue to thrive, and I sincerely wish all the players and staff members nothing but the best in their future endeavors.”

Fetrow was a four-year starter for the Nittany Lions and played in two NCAA Tournaments. He was a 2009 Academic All-Big Ten selection. As a rookie in 2008, Fetrow was a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team and was named to the Big Ten Championship All-Tournament Team. He was selected by the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer in the 2011 Supplemental Draft.

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