Pieter Lehrer joins the Crimson after an eight-year stint as assistant/associate head coach at Cal (Photo: GoldenBearSports.com)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard athletic department has announced the hiring of Pieter Lehrer as the new Virginia B. and James O. Welch, Jr. '52 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Soccer. Lehrer comes to Cambridge after an eight-year stint at Cal Berkeley.
"Pieter appreciates and understands the personal, academic, and athletic development of student-athletes," said Bob Scalise, the Nichols Family Director of Athletics. "His intelligence, soccer knowledge, and ability to motivate students is exceptional. We are delighted that he is joining our talented roster of coaches."
Lehrer served as the associate head coach with the Golden Bears, helping Cal to years of success. During his time at Cal, he saw the team capture three Pac 12 titles and finish runner-up in the league on two other occasions. The Bears also reached the NCAA tournament five times during his tenure with the team, twice advancing to the Sweet 16. He has also seen 16 Cal players signed or drafted to MLS. His responsibilities with the Bears included recruiting, training, player development, game operations and management, video, alumni relations, administration and camps.
"I am very excited and honored to become part of the Harvard athletic program and the tradition of excellence it represents," Lehrer said. "The talent, desire and commitment of the current group of players is outstanding, and I am confident we will find success.
The past eight years at Cal have been a great learning experience, working and learning from one of the premier coaches in the college soccer, Kevin Grimes. His insight and guidance have been invaluable and I look forward to bring this breadth of knowledge and experience to Harvard.
I greatly appreciate the Harvard Athletic Department leadership team of Bob Scalise, Pat Henry and Nathan Fry for entrusting in me the future success of Harvard Men's soccer."
Lehrer joined the Bears from the University of Evansville in Indiana, where he spent the 2004 season as an assistant coach. While at Evansville, the program enjoyed its best season since 1996-97 and compiled a winning record for the first time in four years. One player moved on to sign and play with the MLS.
Previously, he spent four years as an assistant coach for Stanford from 1999-2001 and in 2003. During this time, Stanford made three NCAA College Cup appearances. From those teams, 11 players signed and played with MLS teams. For this success, Lehrer was honored with the AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2003.
During the 2001 and 2002 seasons, Lehrer served as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS. While with the Galaxy, the club won both the 2002 MLS Cup and the 2001 Open Cup. Lehrer has also served as an assistant coach for the Olympic Development Program (ODP) U-18 Region IV team, as well as the head coach for the ODP District II team.
Lehrer holds a United States Soccer Federation A License and a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.
As a player, Lehrer played for UCLA and was a member of the program's first NCAA Championship team in 1985. He also played professionally in Europe from 1986-88. Lehrer graduated from UCLA in 1990 with a degree in history.
Lehrer participated in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta as a member of the Antigua high kneeling canoe team, along with qualifying and competing in the Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii, in 1990.
Lehrer comes to Cambridge with his wife Christy, a former record-holder and team captain on the Stanford track and field team, and their two children.