Bangen ready for new role as Ashwaubenon soccer coach
By Tori Wittenbrock
Ashwaubenon – In January, Ashwaubenon High School named Emily Bangen head coach of the girls’ soccer program.
Bangen, originally from Normal, Illinois, moved to Green Bay six years ago to attend college at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB).
She has since graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Human Resources.
“After graduating, I’ve lived and worked in the Green Bay community,” Bangen said. “I’m currently working for the Greater Green Bay Chamber as a Youth Apprenticeship manager. In my role, I help high school students find work experience in their desired career paths.”
Bangen is familiar with her sport – she played soccer from the age of five through high school.
“I played club soccer for Illinois Fusion and was on the varsity team at Normal West High School,” she said. “After graduating high school, to stay connected to the sport, I continued to play intramurals.”
Bangen said playing a team sport is about more than just the experience.
“My favorite soccer memory is the summer tournament trip my high school team used to take,” she said. “We would travel to Iowa and play a full weekend of games – it was a great way to bond as a team and kick off the next season of soccer.”
Bangen’s other qualifications include volunteering during college for the YMCA soccer program, coaching a team for the AYSA (Ashwaubenon Youth Soccer Association) and coaching the Ashwaubenon junior varsity (JV) team during the 2019 spring season.
“Coaching JV was a great experience,” she said. “It allowed me to grow and become more confident as a coach.”
Bangen said her experience coaching JV taught her a lot.
“The most important thing to focus on during the difficulties of coaching is the players,” she said. “They are watching you and reading your emotions and how you react to situations. You aren’t going to win every game, and sometimes how you lose speaks louder than winning. Connecting with players and using the time they spend with me – on and off the field – to create a positive impact on their lives is the favorite part of the job.”
Outside of soccer, Bangen enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, friends and family.
She plays recreational volleyball and softball to stay active and goes shopping and spends weekends at the lake.
“I like to do anything that involves spending time with the people I care about,” Bangen said.
This season, Bangen said she has high hopes for the girls.
“I hope to see our team work hard to achieve their goals,” she said. “These girls can do anything they put their minds to, and I look forward to helping them get there.”
Bangen said the girls’ soccer program at Ashwaubenon still faces challenges.
“Our numbers are lower this year than in years past, due to a variety of reasons, so I’m looking forward to using this group to change and grow our soccer program,” she said. “This team will set the foundation for how the girls’ soccer program will be run in the future.”
The athletic department is anticipating Bangen’s influence as well.
“I’m excited for Coach Bangen to coach our girls,” Ashwaubenon Athletic Director and Associate Principal Nick Senger said. “She’s looking forward to working with our student-athletes. She has coaching experience working with our JV program and is ready to jump to the varsity level. I’m confident in her to build positive relationships with our team and push them to be outstanding young women.”
The varsity team had a 7-15 record during the 2019 season while Bangen coached the JV squad.
The Jaguars are coming off a 2-10 campaign last spring during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ashwaubenon plays its first nonconference game this season at home Friday, April 8, at 6:30 p.m. against Oshkosh North.
After four more nonconference games, the Jaguars open Fox River Classic Conference play Tuesday, April 19, at Bay Port.