Posted on: April 8, 2021 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Joey Fernandez, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Gerry Norris is not afraid to speak his mind to his players.

The newly hired women’s soccer head coach is known for his outgoing coaching style and competitive nature.

“I like to win but I’d like to win playing football,” he said. “A win is a win but I like to be very demanding. Very aggressive and very demanding. I am not a quiet coach. I like to be involved and not sit back and let mistakes happen.

“I put pressure on the girls to do better. When I see a mistake, I shout it at them on the sideline, but when they come off the field I explain it to them.”

With a lengthy European playing career partnered with a fiery coaching style and strict attention to detail, Norris is ready to turn Moraine women’s soccer into a powerhouse. 

New MV women’s soccer head coach Gerry Norris (Photo: mvcyclones.com)

“I’d like to see the girls learn how to play football instead of just kicking the ball,” he said. “The philosophy of teaching is how to play from the back and understanding the game a little bit more–when it’s time to play and when we don’t have the ball, to learn to press the ball to tighten up the field.” 

This is his second stint with the program—his first as the head coach—and he comes in knowing what to expect from the Cyclones’ style of play.

He described his first experience with the Cyclones as a great chance. “I enjoyed it. Football-wise it was a lot of fun,” he said. “When there is an opportunity I’d like to take it.”

Growing up in Europe, Norris gravitated towards football.

“I didn’t like school and I was good at soccer,” he said. “I gave up Nordic sports in Ireland to pursue a future in soccer.” 

He grew up playing at Liam Tuohy Soccer Academy in Dublin, Ireland, and Bobby Charlton Soccer Academy in Manchester, England. He even eventually became a semi-professional soccer player for Ireland’s Waterford United. 

After five years of semi-professional play, Norris decided to move on to coaching men’s and women’s soccer. He first coached at Moraine from 2008-11 before spending a decade with Inter FC and the Chicago Blast Soccer Club.

Norris hopes to carry on the recent success of the women’s program, which has a combined record of 32-8 over the past two seasons.

The Cyclones have started this season with a record of 1-1. The team fell to Olivet Nazarene University 2-1 in the first game of the season, but Norris was extremely pleased with the effort the Cyclones showed.

“For 20 minutes we were the better team,” he said, “but since we only have 12 players I felt the team got tired.”

Cyclones women’s soccer has four more games this season.

The team rebounded with its first win against Kankakee 5-1, and Norris believes this is the style of soccer that will work going forward.

While success this year is important, he says his main goal is to shape the Cyclones into a more fundamentally sound team and program as a whole.

“[In] the fall I would like to bring in a couple good players,” he said. “One of the coaches texted me saying we’re ranked 14th, so I’d like to get the girls up to 10th maybe or something like that. But once we can get some new players in there we can move up in the ranks and the football will be better.”