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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette Women’s Soccer: Pelaez and Roeders have special bond

Assistant Coach, Frank Pelaez, talks to the team at a game. Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

With the amount of turnover in college coaching, it’s refreshing to see the bond that associate head coach Frank Pelaez has forged with head coach Markus Roeders.

Pelaez joined the women’s soccer staff when Roeders became the head coach in 1996, but their relationship goes beyond the 15 years they have spent working together.

Pelaez and Roeders were teammates and roommates at North Carolina-Asheville, and have known each other since 1987.

“Frankie is like a brother to me,” Roeders said. “We’ve been through so many things together, and we really lean on each other at all times.”

Pelaez has been instrumental in helping Roeders build a consistent winning tradition and the family atmosphere that the staff stresses to every player.

“Family is probably one of our number one things that we stress, because at home you’re comfortable, when you’re with your family you’re comfortable,” Pelaez said. “At the end of the day, if you could take a little piece of family and bring it into a college atmosphere where a freshman is alone for a long time and probably nervous and scared, and then all of a sudden she’s got 29 sisters, they buy into that because they’re more comfortable.”

When Roeders and Pelaez are on the road recruiting, the two tend to have a very similar opinion on what kinds of players will fit well at Marquette, but it goes beyond just talent.

“We like technical players, we like skilled players, we like players with passion,” Pelaez said. “When we’re recruiting, we look at not just how great of a soccer player she is, but is she looking at the coach’s eyes at halftime? When she scores a goal, does it look like she wants to cry? I love that.”

Roeders agreed, saying that there is a certain trust factor and familiarity with Pelaez that makes recruiting easier for him.

“If Frankie comes to me and says we’re going to like this player, I don’t necessarily need to go see the player, although we will still do a follow-up,” Roeders said. “We’re those two guys who won’t wear a (particular) shirt for six months and then show up one day and we’re both wearing the same shirt.”

When asked about if he had ever seriously considered leaving Marquette to pursue a potential head coaching job elsewhere, Pelaez couldn’t see it happening. He said he has always felt like a head coach at Marquette, even from the beginning.

“We both took it upon each other and said we’re going to run this together,” Pelaez said. “It’s never been me going to look for a head coach position, because we don’t look at titles, we really don’t.

“If someone gave you the opportunity to have a business and said ‘run it, and I’ll let you run it the way you want and see how you do,’ (you do it). And we’ve run it really well from the beginning.”

Sophomore midfielder Maegan Kelly believes Pelaez’s dedication to the team has helped the program become successful and gives the team advice on how to get better.

“Frank (Pelaez) puts a lot of time into our team and I really notice it in training and individual meetings to help me make more of an impact on the field,” Kelly said. “Everything he says I take into consideration because I know he has our best interests in mind.”

When it comes down to it, Pelaez believes being comfortable individually and as a team is the most important part to the program’s success.

“If you’re in a comfortable setting, you’re going to perform better; it’s not really rocket science,” he said.

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