Pensky was drawn to Tennessee by many aspects of the department.
March 28, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tuesday night, Tennessee soccer head coach, Brian Pensky, appeared for the first time on "Vol Calls" with host Bob Kesling.
When asked about making the move from the University of Maryland to Tennessee, Pensky noted that it was a trip to Knoxville 18 months ago with his former team that planted the seed.
"When we were (in Knoxville), we got a first-hand look at Regal Stadium and all that is provided for the women's soccer team (at Tennessee). We were in awe," Pensky said.
Once presented with the head coaching position with the Volunteers, Pensky understood that with all the amenities that Tennessee had to offer, it would be the people that would tie a Big Orange bow around the Tennessee package.
"All of the resources, facilities and everything else are great, but if you have all the right `stuff' and do not have the right people, then the `stuff' does not mean a thing."
With Tennessee, Pensky was truly able to find the total package.
"Certainly the administration, the support staff, and the team are all wonderful but the compilation of everything is what put me over the hump and excited me about the challenge."
When asked about the differences between ACC women's soccer and SEC women's soccer, Pensky made it very clear to audience members and radio listeners that the SEC was a sleeping giant waiting to be awoken.
"The SEC is very respectable. You factor in Texas A&M coming into the league, who is a perennial top fifteen team, and Missouri coming into the league ... the SEC is very much so nipping at the heels of the ACC, and if that was not the case, then I would not be (at Tennessee) right now."
Host Bob Kesling continued his time with coach Pensky by asking about the current state of the team.
"I think we can be great," said Pensky. "Right now we have some very good players in our program, but if there is one thing I wish we had more of right now it would be players."
With any team, depth is always an area of concern for coaches. Injuries can hover over a squad like a black cloud, but with solid depth, coaches can manage the void left by an injured player.
"You have to be good, but you also have to be deep. Life is such that kids sometimes get injured and we cannot afford many injuries."
Pensky closed his time with the radio show by noting the development he has seen in his team over the past weeks during spring games and practices.
"From game one where we tied 0-0, to game two where we beat Cincinnati 2-0 handedly, there was a large margin of improvement," said Pensky. "Our possession was great, and our awareness of each other and our technique were all very, very good. It all goes back to (the players) being receptive and excited to get better and that is where we are now.
"Our kids are great. They are working hard and being very receptive to what is being asked of them right now and I feel very good about the future of this team."
Watching student-athletes succeed is one of the many perks for most coaches around the nation. For Pensky, it is what drives him. The opportunity that Tennessee provides its student-athletes could not be simply passed up by a coach who sees it as a priority.
"In terms of making student-athletes great and providing everything necessary to help kids be at their best, everything here within this athletic department (allows that) and that really excites me."
"Vol Calls" originates live from the Texas Roadhouse at Turkey Creek in West Knoxville.
The Lady Vols as they host Lipscomb University tomorrow night (Thursday, March 29) at 7 p.m. ET at Regal Soccer Stadium.