Mar 22, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterFormer Riverton Wolverine all-state football and all-state soccer player Brooks Paskett has been named head men's soccer coach at Hunter College in New York City, an NCAA Division III school.
Paskett was promoted to the position after serving as the Hawks' assistant men's coach.
"It's quite an honor to be named head coach for the team I have been working with for the past five seasons. It's a pretty big responsibility, and I'm excited about it," Paskett said.
Hunter College competes in the City University of New York Athletic Conference, which consists of nine institutions in its senior college division.
Prior to joining the staff at Hunter College, Paskett was the assistant women's soccer coach at New York University.
Paskett and his team plays games twice a week and practice three days a week during their fall soccer season on fields at Randall's Island, between the boroughs of Manhattan and Queens.
"It's really difficult to get practice time. We have to go early in the morning. We practice at 7 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. It doesn't conflict with the kids' class schedules, and we're out of the way when the public schools are using that space," Paskett said.
After practice, Paskett hits the subway to go to his day job at ABR Builders in Manhattan, just across the street from the Empire State Building. He works on design and development projects, primarily brownstones.
Paskett says the academic reputation of Hunter College is a big help in his recruiting.
"The guys that we get mostly will contact us. Hunter College has a really strong academic program. We attract a lot of kids. It's a low-cost but well-recognized university. We'll try to set up times to go watch them play at college showcases or club games," Paskett said.
Because Hunter plays as a Division III school, athletic scholarships are not available. Paskett said his school does offer dorm preference to his impact players, which gives students an opportunity to get in the dorms. Housing is hard to come by in the city, according to Paskett.
Hunter College has a good mix of post-high school and junior college transfer students, according to Paskett, who continues to play club soccer with a team from Queens.
"In 2010, we went to Croatia and competed and had an amazing experience. I'll recruit assistant coaches from that club," Paskett said.
After graduating from RHS in 1998, Paskett played football for one season as a kicker at Chadron State College.
"I realized that the degree I wanted was offered at the University of Wyoming. I went to UW to study architectural engineering, and that got me on track doing what I do now, which is overseeing the construction site from the contractor's standpoint," Paskett said.
Paskett began his coaching career in the Riverton Youth Soccer Association, and he also coached and played for the club team at the University of Wyoming.
"What I see is kids here who are primarily one-sport athletes. There is a better club soccer program that has more assets and more teams and plays at a higher level. You can choose high schools that have better athletic or (academic) programs. They put a lot of pressure on them when they are younger. There is so much more competition here. It develops them quicker," Paskett said.
Paskett is the son of Dave and Lindy Paskett of Riverton.
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