MSU had only one win the season before Hosler took over. He thinks bringing in a totally new style was the key to such a massive turnaround.
“They’ve learned so much from the previous team and they’ve been so amazing in building this pillar of the family,” Hosler said. “Bringing different tactics, different training ideas, different micro and macro cycles was really important. I think a lot of it was about bringing totally new ideas. they had in the past. Believe in the band and we get them to believe in what we’re trying to do.
Before coming to MSU, Hosler already had a reputation as a winner. At Grand Valley State, he did things Lakers football fans had never seen before. He posted the highest winning percentage of any coach in GVSU history and the best winning percentage in all of NCAA football during his seven years in office. He also led the Lakers to three NCAA championships, five NCAA title games and reached the Elite Eight in six seasons.
Before all that though, he was a high school and club football coach in the Lansing area. From there he then moved on to Alma, where he wore many different hats and learned to appreciate everyone from top to bottom of a program.
“When you’re a D3 head coach, you have so many roles beyond just coaching your sport,” Hosler said. “I was working with men’s basketball at one point, lining the courts on game day and sometimes cutting grass. You guys did it all and I literally had our recruits on campus in the morning. You guys are an extension sometimes from the admissions office because you had to hit certain numbers every year and the people you brought in. You cut the pitch, line the pitch, talk to other rookies after a quick shower just to get back in time to coach the club so to make enough money to do all of that. I think wearing all these different hats in Alma gave me a greater appreciation for everyone.
Even before seeing him in action at MSU, senior forward Lauren DeBeau knew that transferring with him was the right decision.
“I knew what it was about,” DeBeau said. “He’s a coach who brings out the best in every player and trains everyone’s best abilities. He knows what we can be, and he brings it out of us. He believes in us more than I think we believe in ourselves.
Players he didn’t recruit out of high school also know he can win and they believe his coaching can bring out the best in them.
“Coach Hosler is a very, very honest coach and he knows how to get the best out of you in every situation.” second-year forward Jordyn Wickes said, who was recently the second MSU player this year to make the TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week. “He knows how to win. I mean, from strategy to pushing and motivating. He knows how to win and it’s really cool to see how he brings out every player’s potential and really uses it.”
In his time at MSU, Hosler has been part of some big wins, but some of his favorite memories of his time here so far have come from watching his players develop.
“Seeing players take turns,” Hosler said. “The way Lauren DeBeau is playing this year, the way Wickes has turned the corner the last two weeks. While it’s been a chore for her, I think it’s more of those little things that really stand out to me when you see players leapfrogging and taking the next step in their growth.”
“Obviously red shirt senior goalkeeper Lauren Kozalturnaround situation. What Ava Cook was able to accomplish in a year and is now doing professionally. The victories matter, but honestly, it’s the memories. The ones that strike me as the most loyal are the connections made with the players and seeing them cut corners and reach milestones or benchmarks that they maybe didn’t know they could fully reach by doing this and be able to come back and continue to grow. ”
While Hosler isn’t a fan of setting expectations, he believes East Lansing is a place where he can win championships.
“We have to set goals that you can control,” Hosler said. “I think a lot of times people get hung up on this idea of certain games you have to win, or a certain number of wins makes it count as a success or a championship win of a certain level.
“Really, setting proper goals is only about the things you will control and for us it’s about doing our best every day, working to have optimal performance and training, not just in match play. The more you can achieve that peak performance and sustain those moments where you can repeat it. I think this is a place where you can win championships. I expect us to win championships while we’re here, but that’s not is not something that we have set as a goal or as a benchmark for us, because there are things that we cannot control during this season.
Although he has already accomplished a lot during his time here, Hosler knows this is no time to rest.
“Michigan State football on the women’s side is one that has a lot of potential,” Hosler said. “I think it can be a sleeping giant in the national landscape, not just in the Big Ten. After a year and a half, to be where we are now is exciting, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
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