The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

From Star Athlete to Coach

Photo by Courtesy of Marquette Athletics
Assistant women’s soccer coach Ashley Bares watches from the sidelines.

It’s a unique, indescribable feeling walking into a place and knowing immediate comfort.

“I kind of got that feeling, and it just felt like home,” assistant Marquette women’s soccer coach Ashley Bares says.

While one might assume Bares feels this way about her childhood home in Belgium, Wisconsin, she is actually referring to the time she took her first step on Marquette University’s campus. 

Bares says she started kicking around a soccer ball with her older sister, Brittany, when she was four years old. She even followed Brittany when she was looking at colleges years later.

“Once (my sister) visited Marquette, she just kind of fell in love and had that family feel. Naturally she’s my best friend, so I tagged along with her like I always did growing up,” Bares says. 

She says the “family feel” lingered into her decision with where she wanted to play collegiate soccer.

In 2007, she joins the Golden Eagles, finishing as one of Marquette’s top offensive options in recent history.

But 2010 is when Bares makes her mark on Marquette women’s soccer.

“That year was just something special,” Bares says. “We went undefeated in conference and did a lot of things for the first time, which was really great to be a part of.” 

Bares’ involvement in soccer does not end there. She grew up having dreams to play for the U.S. Women’s National soccer team, but the window quickly passes as she gets older.   

She says she remains patient until an opportunity to play overseas arose in 2011. From 2011-’12, she plays professional soccer with Stjarnan, part of the Úrvalsdeild League in Iceland. 

Bares says she always knew she wanted more. 

She travels back to the United States, completes her unfinished semester at Marquette and graduates with plans to go back to Europe. 

Stepping foot on Marquette’s campus again changes everything for her. Bares says she experiences that indescribable feeling once again. 

“It just clicks. When you’re at home, you feel that,” Bares says. It felt great to be back.”  

It wasn’t long until the position for Marquette women’s soccer assistant coach opens. She applies, goes through the interviews and earns the position. 

Now, Bares is entering her seventh season as assistant coach. Bares explains she wants to do more than just coach the game — she wants to make a long-lasting impact. 

There are so many doors opening for women in the soccer industry, Bares says. She wants to inspire her players to stay connected with the sport even after they graduate. 

“I push them to know that this is only the beginning of what they can do and leave their mark somewhere else after they leave it here, Bares says. 

Bares leaves this influence on many of her players, especially senior goalkeeper Maddy Henry. Henry is in one of Bares’ first recruiting classes and this is the first time she is able to see one of her recruits finish the program. 

If it weren’t for her, I don’t think I’d be here,” Henry says. “She’s kind of like a sister and an aunt in a weird way, while being our coach. 

Other members of the team say they feel the same way about Bares’ coaching tactics. 

“She just helps with little things, and she just knows everything about Marquette soccer — lives and breathes it,” senior Emily Hess says. 

While she does have other interests like listening to live music and attending to her dog, in the end, soccer encompasses her life. When Bares is asked what she enjoys doing outside of soccer, she laughs and says watching and playing soccer. 

She will continue to mentor her 30 younger sisters at the place that feels most like home.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *