Tim Wassell named associate head coach for Penn State women’s soccer
Beginning his 12th season with the Nittany Lions in fall 2021, Wassell directs the goalkeepers and defensive unit and has been integral to the Nittany Lions’ recruiting success. Prior to joining Penn State, Wassell was the women’s soccer head coach at Penn State Altoona for three seasons from 2007-09, posting a 48-11-5 record with 39 shutouts.
“Tim has long established himself as one of the top assistant coaches in the country and I trust him with every aspect of our program,” said Dambach. “His attention to detail and overall knowledge of the sport is at an incredibly high level and he works diligently to stay up on all of the modern trends of the game. His tireless work ethic and clear love for this program make him invaluable to our success. Tim deserves a ton of credit for all of our success throughout his time with this program!”
Under Wassel’s guidance, recent alumna Amanda Dennis became the most recent Nittany Lion goalkeeper to enter the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), signing with the Houston Dash and winning the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup title in her rookie campaign. Dennis, and recently retired professional Britt Eckerstrom, the first goalkeeper taken in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, were catalysts for the Nittany Lions’ defensive success.
The Nittany Lions tallied one of the best defensive efforts in program history during Penn State’s 2015 National Championship season. As a defensive unit, under Wassell’s direction, the Nittany Lions allowed only 14 goals on the year and did not concede a goal over the final 733:32 of the season. The Nittany Lions’ 15 shutouts in 2015 tied the second-best performance in school history (2004).
Wassell serves as the program’s recruiting coordinator and has a reputation as one of the best evaluators in the sport. According to TopDrawerSoccer.com, the Nittany Lions claimed the top recruiting class in 2019 after a No. 4 ranking in 2017 and back-to-back No. 2 overall recruiting classes in 2014 and 2015. The 2020-21 Big Ten Forward of the Year Ally Schlegel held a spot in the Top Drawer Soccer top 10 for 2018 with Kate Wiesner ranked as the No. 1 player in the class of 2019, Jordan Caniff at No. 9 and Payton Linnehan ranked 13th overall in that class.
Penn State has signed some of the best talent in the nation and in the world as the 2014 class featured Big Ten Freshman of the Year Emily Ogle, and the 2015 class included the No. 5 overall signee, Ellie Jean, and No. 10 overall recruit, Kaleigh Riehl. The fourth-ranked 2017 class featured four Nittany Lions in the top 30, including the No. 2 defender in the nation and 12th-ranked player overall, Kerry Abello.
Over three seasons from 2007-09 as head coach of the women’s team at Penn State Altoona, the Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, product led the program to a 48-11-5 overall record, taking home NSCAA Great Lakes Coach of the Year honors in 2008. He was also named the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2008. While his defense-oriented teams posted 39 shutouts in 64 games, they outscored opponents 172-40 and set marks for wins in every year of his tenure with 13, 17 and 18, respectively. Wassell’s 2008 team went without a loss in the regular season and reached the NCAA Division III Tournament that year.
As a goalkeeper at Penn State Altoona, Wassell was a two-time NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region selection in 2004 and 2005 and a two-time All-AMCC first-team pick as well. He was named the 2005 PSU Altoona Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was mentioned amongst the coaches of the AMCC as the Preseason Player of the Year in 2005. In both 2004 and 2005, Wassell led the AMCC in save percentage, shutouts and goals against average (GAA), completing his two-year tenure between the pipes with a school-record 0.71 GAA. For his efforts as a player and coach, Wassell will be inducted in the Penn State Altoona Athletics inaugural Hall of Fame class in October 2021.
Prior to his time at Altoona, Wassell was a member of the East Stroudsburg squad from 2000-02, earning two Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championships with an NCAA College Cup appearance in 2000.
Wassell has earned the United Soccer Coaches National and Advanced National Goalkeeping Coaching Diplomas (NSCAA) and currently serves on the United Soccer Coaches National Goalkeeping Staff.