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Mark Fetrow Takes Over As Men’s Soccer Head Coach

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Courtesy of Villanova Athletics
Mark Fetrow was Drexel’s Head Coach during the 2023 season.

Nov. 16 was a day that shocked all who follow Villanova men’s soccer. After 16 years as head coach of the Wildcats, Tom Carlin retired. Taking over from Carlin is his former assistant, Mark Fetrow. 

“To have the opportunity to pass this program on to Mark Fetrow, one of the top head coaches in the country, is a blessing,” Carlin said to Villanova Athletics.” 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 has his own experience of playing soccer and knows what it takes to reach the professional ranks. 

Fetrow was a four-year starter at Penn State. Fetrow was drafted by the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer in the 2012 Supplemental Draft.

Following a brief professional career, he spent three seasons as an assistant coach at West Chester University. Prior to WCU, Fetrow was a graduate assistant at his alma mater. 

Fetrow spent six seasons as a member of Carlin’s staff. Last July, Fetrow was offered the job to become men’s soccer head coach at Drexel. He accepted the position and left Villanova, but not for long. 

In his lone season at Drexel, Fetrow led the Dragons to a 9-2-5 record. 

A native of West Chester, Pa., Fetrow has big shoes to fill, as Carlin is arguably the greatest coach in program history. In Carlin’s 16 seasons at the helm, he took the ‘Cats to the NCAA tournament twice, led them to their first ever tournament win and won 122 games. 

Fortunately for the Wildcats, Fetrow is no stranger to Carlin’s style of play. After three seasons on Carlin’s staff, Fetrow was elevated to the role of Associate Head Coach in 2019. 

“Coach Carlin’s my mentor,” Fetrow said. “When you work with somebody for as long as I have with him you learn a lot and you take a lot of things. I think there’s always gonna be a presence of Coach Carlin in our program. He’s been there for 16 years. I think it’s really important to build off his legacy, but at the same time, start implementing some of my values and things I think are most important to try and take the program to the next level in terms of a winning perspective. He’s a guy I’m gonna consistently lean on, especially during this transition phase.” 

Fetrow’s coaching philosophy is built on four core values.

“There’s four core values that I want to focus on with our group and its honesty, integrity, attitude and effort,” Fetrow said. “Obviously the word attitude comes with a lot of praise at Villanova and I think that’s important to the identity of our student athletes.” 

The Wildcats will begin their 2024 season next fall but the work for Fetrow has already begun. The work for the players will begin in the spring and summer. 

“I think the next seven months is a great opportunity to get ingrained in a new style of play and a new system of play to have and make the most of our opportunities,” Fetrow said. “It’s gonna be a team effort. We’re never gonna lean on one or two guys but I think that the best way for us to build is to have continued success.” 

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