After 27 years, Hyndman still gets thrill coaching

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Schellas Hyndman, the SMU men’s soccer team’s headcoach, is often thought of as a great coach with an unbelievablewinning percentage. In the SMU and soccer community, he is regardedas one of the best coaches in the game. Unless you actually knowhim, you probably are unaware that not only are his statsincredible, but so is his character, his life and his heart.

Coach Hyndman was born and raised in China. Fleeing from thefear of communism throughout his childhood, Hyndman’s familyeventually moved to Ohio as refugees.

At the age of 10, his father died during the family’sfirst year in America. Living in a strange country with a strangeculture, the one thing that was constant for him was soccer.

Playing soccer was something Hyndman did very well. His talenttook him to the University of Eastern Illinois, where he played ata high level. He never thought about it, but at some point in timethings just worked out for him to be a soccer coach.

Now, after 27 years in the business, Coach Hyndman ranks secondon the list of most wins for active coaches in the entire nationwith over 400 wins. Certainly it is no coincidence that he has beenable to find tremendous success everywhere he has gone.

Twenty-one of the 27 years he has coached, have been at SMU andhis record at SMU is 320-84-28. On Sept. 24, 2003, Hyndman pickedup his 300th win at SMU and it gave him the distinguishable titleof being SMU’s winningest coach in any sport.

Along with the wins, Hyndman also has earned an unprecedentedsix consecutive league Coach of the Year Honors (WAC: 1997-99, MVC:2000-02).

Hyndman contributes his success here at SMU to the universityitself.

He believes that the school plays a vital role in his recruitingprocess, which in turn plays a vital role in winning. SMU gives themaximum amount of scholarships to men’s soccer, plenty offunding so SMU can travel to play the best teams, and it is such anideal campus that when you add those three things together, it ishard to refuse.

“SMU is kind of a dream school. When most young kids thinkabout college, they think about a beautiful campus like SMU and agreat educational environment,” Hyndman said.

The scholarships and the campus are great, but winning is mostimportant to a future collegiate athlete, and that is the one thingthat Hyndman does best.

Hyndman believes winning is important, but maybe not asimportant as watching his players grow up. Being able to take firstyear team members and mold them into not only great players, butalso great men is a joy that makes Hyndman look forward to everynew year.

“I am excited every time a new freshman class comes in.This senior class for example… I think back to when theywere freshman and they were all so naïve. They were basicallygood players but a bit innocent because they had never lived ontheir own,” he said. “Now I have seen them grow up tobe mature, and I am really proud of them. I really enjoythat.”

This year, the SMU men’s soccer team, ranked in the topfive in the nation for much of the year, has one of the toughestschedules in the country. The fact that SMU is the only Division Isoccer team in the state means that they have to travel quite oftento play the best teams.

Coming home on Monday from an away weekend and then having toleave again on Thursday is very tough on a team, especially whenall those games are against the best teams in the country. But thathasn’t prevented SMU from a regular season conferencechampionship.

Along with coaching, Hyndman will also become the president ofthe National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) inJanuary. The NSCAA is the largest coaches association of any sportin the entire nation with over 18,000 members.

As far as his future with SMU and coaching men’s soccer,it is quite simple: He plans to do it as long as he can.

“My goal in life, when it comes to work, is to be a coach.I find great pleasure in it and it is very satisfying for me to beout there coaching these young men, and to compete as one of thebetter soccer teams consistently in the United States,” hesaid. “I take a lot of pride in what we’veaccomplished. I think anybody who really enjoys their job and has apassion for it is going to find success.” And success isexactly what Hyndman has found, not only on the soccer field, butalso in life.

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