SMU Alumnus making history on, off soccer field with young players
Former SMU football player and SMU Men’s Soccer Director of Operations Brad Namdar is looking to make a name for himself in the ranks of elite soccer coaches.
Namdar received his Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in philosophy in 2012, while serving as the Mustangs’ place kicker. Following his graduation, Namdar continued his education at SMU, receiving his master’s in dispute resolution and conflict management in 2014 while also working with the men’s soccer team.
During Namdar’s tenure as an undergraduate, he had the opportunity to serve as a coaching apprentice for former SMU Hall of Fame men’s soccer coach and FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman. Through his apprenticeship, Namdar learned the ins and outs of running a successful, efficient and elite soccer program.
“When you get [to] see how [Hyndman] runs his team, his sessions and on a personal level, you learn what kind of person and coach you need to be in order to be successful,” Namdar said.
His time under Hyndman also allowed for Namdar to meet future SMU goalkeeper and his current assistant coach Oscar Pareja.
While Hyndman played a significant role in grooming Namdar’s coaching background and serving as his role model, the Mountain View coach also credits his time at SMU with intangibles which have correlated to his success as a coach.
“When you’re a student athlete at SMU, then a director of operations, you learn the ins and outs of how an efficient program is run,” Namdar said. “SMU has taught me how to be appreciative, how to work hard, network and how to run a program efficiently.”
Namdar’s background in working with the SMU men’s soccer team and under Hyndman, along with coaching Dallas’ St. Mark’s Middle and High School teams, presented him the opportunity to serve as the head coach for the North Dallas High School boys’ varsity team in 2014. While coaching at North Dallas High School, Namdar showcased his talent as a head coach and cemented his legitimacy in the eyes of doubters as the team reached a ranking as high as No. 3 in Texas.
The following summer, Namdar accepted the head coaching job as both the men’s and women’s head soccer coach at Mountain View Community College. The year before Namdar’s arrival, the men’s team posted a 1-11 record. During Namdar’s first year at the program, the team recorded a historical record, winning eight games to only six losses. A similiar narrative accompanied the women’s team. Namdar and the women’s soccer team recorded the best record in the past four years, winning five games.
As he looks into the upcoming season, Namdar hopes to capitalize on the momentum the team established during his first year as coach.
“I hope to make Mountain View College a national powerhouse that has top players graduating every year and win a national championship,” Namdar said. “I believe that we can do that if we utilize our resources and innovative potential.”
Although Namdar has ambitious goals for the Mountain View College program on the field, his goals for his players and programs extend beyond the pitch as well.
Since his time as a student at SMU, Namdar has used soccer as a medium to reach out and provide players with opportunities otherwise unavailable. He believes that the skills developed through sports translate to success in other realms of life.
“Soccer and sports in general do wonders in developing students off the field,” Namdar said. “You learn to work as a team, interpersonal and intrinsic qualities that are important to succeed. At the same time you learn to work hard toward a common goal.”
While a student at SMU, Namdar started Dream Big Soccer, an organization with the mission of using soccer as a medium for underprivileged children to develop skills that would translate to their success athletically, socially and academically.
“The mission of Dream Big was utilizing soccer as a median, but also promoting education,” Namdar said.
Since its founding, Dream Big has helped over 2,000 kids in Dallas and expanded to eight college campuses.
In addition, Namdar has made significant impacts with both his North Dallas High School and current Mountain View College squad.
In 2014, during Namdar’s one-year head coaching experience with North Dallas High School, he achieved a historic record by having nine seniors graduate and attend college. Furthermore, in the past year, all of Namdar’s players, men and women, have received offers to play at four-year universities, including six players who have already signed letters of intent.
“Our team culture is one that puts academics as our No. 1 priority,” Namdar said. “I am very happy of the opportunities my players have been able to earn to play at four year colleges and universities.”
Likely, Namdar will continue to look to continue climbing the echelons of competitive soccer. However, one thing is certain: wherever Namdar goes, and whoever he plays, his desire to use soccer as a tool for improving lives and teaching valuable lessons will follow.