New Arizona head coach Becca Moros uses long playing career to draw upon in first college coaching job

Becca Moros has done it all as a player since graduating from Duke University, where she was an All-American midfielder in her senior year.

She played for eight different clubs in 11 pro seasons -- three in WPS, two in Japan's Nadeshiko League and six in the NWSL.

But only 18 months after being waived by the Utah Royals, she landed the head coaching job at the University of Arizona. On the surface, it appears to be an unusual move to hand the reins of a top program to someone not already steeped in the college game.

Moros worked for Gotham FC as an assistant coach in 2020-21 but has no previous experience as a head coach, nor any college experience as a coach.

Still, she believes her playing career has given her valuable lessons, even if they were often hard ones. She played for the Washington Freedom, which folded after the 2010 WPS season. In 2011, she was at magicJack and the Western New York Flash before leaving for Japan following WPS's collapse.
 
"Leagues have folded," she said. "Different coaches have come in, different owners, different managers, so I don't think I've necessarily had the best experience or the longest playing career that I've ever had, but I had tremendous learning experiences as far as becoming a coach. Seeing what works, what doesn't work and kind of drawing from that to sort of build my own philosophy and my own leadership style and culture that I'd like to set here.”

Moros is taking over for Tony Amato, who left the Wildcats to take the University of Florida women's job after Becky Burleigh's retirement. She has big shoes to fill. Amato took a program that had a losing record in seven straight seasons and led it to five second-round appearances in the NCAA Tournament in seven seasons. The Wildcats would have probably made the postseason this spring but the tournament field was cut from 64 to 48 teams due to NCAA cuts for 2020-21 Division I sports.

Moros, who is participating in U.S. Soccer's ‘B’ License coaching course for current and former NWSL players, said the key to stepping in as a new coach is to build trust.

“The first thing is getting to know the players, both on and off the field, and building trust,” Moros said. “Before you ask anybody to change something they do or to think about it differently, you've got to know what they're doing and why they're doing it, so I think understanding each other and building trust is key. I think from there, you kind of challenge people according to what you know where they're at."

Arizona, which returns all but three starters from the team that finished eighth in the Pac-12 in the spring, is 10th in the conference's preseason fall poll.

“I don’t give a [expletive],” Moros was her response to the ranking in an interview with the Daily Wildcat. “I have been listening to people sell others short for all the wrong reasons my whole life. A lot of people think that because I have no head coaching experience that I cannot coach, but that is not true either. I spent 14 years in the pros, and I have things that none of these coaches have.”
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