Noah Hess reporter
Wes Branstetter is Pitt State’s first women’s soccer head coach. Branstetter grew up playing soccer in Tulsa OKL, then he attended Anderson University where he played for a year and transferred back to Tulsa. Due to the transfer portal rules, Bransetter decided to end his soccer career early and begin coaching.
After Bransetter was offered an assistant coaching job at Oral Roberts University, he was then promoted to associate head coach.
Bransetter named two men, Roger Bush and Austin Risenhoover, as his personal mentors and coaches. Bransetter said that these two men were the ones who taught him how to be a better coach and a better man. Branstetter wants to take his former playing experiences and what he has learned from his mentors and implement them.
“Be empathetic, you don’t have to feel bad for them, but you have to understand, you have to meet your kids where they are, you have to understand where they are coming from,” Bransetter said. “Because I think a lot of times its human nature to be like well if they would see it from my perspective they would understand, but you have to turn the glass and look the other direction,” “If you are empathetic I think you will have a better heart, you will make better decisions and you will put the best interest of the team in your heart.”
Another mentor Risenhoover taught Branstetter that it is important to motivate kids in diverse ways
“A lot of times kids will ask coaches what I can do better, and I think 90 percent of the time they know they answer, so it’s important to ask them questions that leads them to come up with the solution themselves so that they are a big part of it,” Bransetter said. “I think doing that you get more out of your players because they feel like they are about to accomplish something,”
Branstetter wasn’t looking to leave the current club he was coaching. However, he found value in getting more interviewing experience. He hired Marcus Kelcher, a job consultant to help Branstetter get more interviews and test the water. Kelcher had a relationship with Pitt State president Dan Shipp, so he was aware of Pitt State search for a new head coach. Kelcher convinced Branstetter to set up an interview in Kansas City for the coaching position.
After the interview on Branstetter’s trip to visit Pitt State from Tulsa, he passed Claremore, where he stopped to talk with a family friend. Their son Jared Vincent told Branstetter about the culture and game day tradition at Pitt State and Branstetter wants his team to be a part of that tradition.
“I want this to be Pittsburg team, I want it to be a part of the community,” said Branstetter. He knows you need high character and high energy player to build an organization like that from the ground up “You building a culture, and you have to build the culture with people you want to build it with, I want high energy people, I think if you have high energy people they are going to be doers, in sports, you’re not always going to have your best game, but it’s how can you contribute to your team,” said Branstetter.
While on Branstetter’s visit to campus, he loved the feel small town feel.
“I got to see the beautiful campus, I love the town, I got to grow up in a similar size town”, said Bransetter. He felt like the job was a no brainer and he felt like this would be a great place to raise his family.