With more than 200 wins, Blitz looks forward
Blitz said that he attributes his success to being smart enough to bring in talented players and coaches.
Sep. 30, 2014
Amidst the chaos of the Tigers' conference opener against Louisiana State, Missouri women’s soccer head coach Bryan Blitz does his best to keep his composure externally.
He patiently substitutes a player, talking to her on the sideline to correct any flaw in the game.
Unlike most other coaches, who shout at their players in moments of intensity, Blitz, on his 19th season with the Tigers, chooses to stay focused quietly.
This style of coaching has brought Blitz much success, allowing him to reach his 200th win with the team Sept. 12 in a 4-3 victory against Montana.
“It’s been great,” he said. “It’s been up and down, a struggle, but good times. I couldn’t ask for anything better moving forward.”
It didn't all come easy for the Dallas native. After graduating from Tulsa in 1987 and playing professionally for a short time while working a full-time job, Blitz returned to school, working toward an MBA at Butler University. There, he was offered a position as assistant coach on the Bulldogs men’s team where he made meager pay.
Following a few seasons with that team, Butler created a women’s team and gave the head coaching position to Blitz, offering him double the salary he earned as an assistant.
Soon after, the Tigers came knocking.
Blitz had to create a team at Mizzou, coaching the Tigers in their inaugural season.
“We started from scratch,” he said. “Who gets to start their own program and then continue to coach it 20 years later? I’m pretty lucky on that fact alone.”
Today, Mizzou’s first and only head coach stands strong with a record of 203-160-23.
His current players realize the work it has taken to get the program to the level it has reached. They respect and have learned to love his style of play, which incorporates a lot of defensive pressing and being physical.
“He’s the kind of coach that pushes you beyond your limits and shows you the importance of teamwork,” junior defender Candace Johnson said. “He makes sure you know how hard winning can be.”
Blitz said his favorite moment as a coach is neither when he led his team to a conference championship in 2008 nor is it when they claimed the Big 12 regular season title in 2009. Not when he was awarded Big 12 Coach of the Year or even when his team reached a No. 5 national ranking in 2007.
It’s not a singular, specific event, he said. Blitz said he feels the most joy when his former players return to tell them about their post-collegiate soccer lives.
“I see that they’re doctors, lawyers, moms, teachers — all of the above,” he said. “I love to see them just reaching their potential and impacting the world in a positive manner.”
With many players come and gone and his new milestone in the books, the program’s head coach remains humble. He attributes his success to his intelligence, though.
Blitz said his development of the team is due not so much to his coaching directly, but to his ability to bring in talented players and coaches.
“He deserved it,” senior forward Taylor Grant said of the coach’s 200th win. “I think that, this year, if he continues to do what he’s doing right now, he’ll have a lot more coming up.”