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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Hughes and Mroz added to men’s soccer staff

Bennett made changes to his coaching staff following a disappointing season (Photo courtesy of Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics)

There will be two new faces on the men’s soccer sidelines when the team returns for the spring season this month. The Golden Eagles have hired Sean Hughes and Jon Mroz as assistant coaches.

Steven Bode, who spent eight years as an assistant coach with the team, is no longer on’s roster page. Louis Bennett confirmed that he is no longer with Marquette.

“Bode left and is continuing work with US Soccer plus exploring new projects,” Bennett said through text message. “Obviously I’m happy for Steve as he is a great coach and a fantastic person. Filling his spot was a tall order, but we managed to get an experienced coach with head coaching experience in Sean Hughes.”

Hughes joins the Golden Eagles after one season as the head coach of Division II Maryville. The Saints set a new program record for wins at the DII level (seven) and shutouts (seven). Prior to Maryville, Hughes was an assistant Quincy University, where he made a DII Final Four appearance.

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“I’ve lived in Milwaukee for a couple of years, so I obviously knew the tradition of the program and the school,” Hughes said. “When the position opened up it was an opportunity that was really too good for me to turn my nose at.”

Hughes already knew head coach Louis Bennett from playing against Marquette at Cardinal Stritch University and through coaching clinics in the area. Knowing Bennett’s style and the type of players he likes was another motivating factor to take the job.

Despite spending only one year at Maryville, Hughes believes head coaching experience will help him going forward.

“It opens up a whole new realm of responsibilities as a head coach,” Hughes said. “At the Division II level, you really have to do everything as a head coach to an extent. You don’t have the resources. I’ve opened up the door to quite a few parts of the job. Now it’s more focusing on a few parts of it, but at a more specific level.”

Mroz is a volunteer assistant who will work with Marquette’s goalkeepers. He replaces Nick Vorberg, who moved to the women’s team on a full-time basis. He was also familiar with Bennett, as the two coached together at UW-Milwaukee.

“I’ve known Louis Bennett for 25 years,” Mroz said. “I’ve lived in the area my entire life, so I know a bit about the program. I’ve definitely followed a bit closer since Louis came over here.”

Mroz spent 20 years as the boys’ varsity soccer coach for Brookfield Central High School. He played goalkeeper at UWM, where he holds school records for victories and shutouts in a season.

Like Vorberg, Mroz has an indoor soccer background. He played professionally with the Milwaukee Wave and Milwaukee Rampage, so he fits right into Bennett’s mold of agile keepers.

“Distribution is number one,” Mroz said. “Every training session we do, every analysis piece I do starts with what the goalie does with the ball. As far as goalkeepers go, they’re not just shot blockers. They’re soccer players that have the advantage of using their hands.”

While the spring semester is usually a time for players to get adjusted to new roles or incoming freshmen to get their first run with the team, this time it will be a bit of training for the coaches too.

“I’m really excited for the first game,” Hughes said. “It gives us a few weeks to prepare. We’ll see where we’re at. It’s exciting for me personally, but more importantly I think the group is excited to respond from what I know their ambitions were from last year (when) they were a little disappointed.”

It’s also a chance for Mroz to get acquainted with last year’s starting goalie Luis Barraza, who he hadn’t seen play before accepting the job.

“This is a huge opportunity for me to get to know the goalkeepers and everyone else on the team just to get a feel for how everything fits together,” Mroz said.

Marcelo Santos, a current assistant, accepted the head coaching position with Kokomo Mantis FC, an expansion franchise in the Premier Development League. The PDL is a 65-team league for players under 23-years-old. Since the games run in the summer Santos is still able to coach Kokomo in addition to staying at Marquette.

Santos played and coached in the PDL with the Thunder Bay Chill. He was a Chill assistant from 2006 to 2009, winning the PDL title in 2008.

UPDATED: Bennett’s response on Bode was added in the latest edition of the story.

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