NMSU Women's Soccer Announces Hiring Of Rob Baarts As Head Coach

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia announced Thursday that Rob Baarts will become the fourth Aggie head women’s soccer coach after a completing a national search.

“I am pleased to welcome Rob Baarts and his family to New Mexico State University,” Moccia said. “Our search committee conducted an extensive national search, which produced a tremendous group of finalists. Through this process, Coach Baarts rose to the top of that list. Having coached the University of Portland to a women’s soccer national championship and San José State to a Mountain West Conference Championship were definitely significant accomplishments. This, coupled with his collegiate and professional experience as well as having recruited women’s national team caliber players in our geographic location put him at the top of our list.”

Baarts joins New Mexico State after spending the last two seasons at San José State, where he led the Spartans to their first Mountain West Conference regular-season title this past season with a 12-6-2 overall record and 9-1-1 league mark.

The regular-season championship was just SJSU’s third title since the program started in 1995. The other two titles came during the 2009-10 seasons when San José State won it back-to-back years while in the Western Athletic Conference.

During his time with the Spartans, Baarts guided 12 players to all-league honors – including the 2017 MWC Player of the Year in Darriell Franklin and MWC Newcomer of the Year Jamilecxth Becerra.

"I am very much looking forward to getting started as the next head coach of the New Mexico State women's soccer program,” Baarts remarked. “My experience in being a part of multiple Division I Final Four teams in my career as a player, and as a coach I believe will serve the program well in what it will take to become a national contender.”

Prior to his tenure at SJSU, Baarts spent 12 seasons as an assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s soccer programs at his alma mater, the University of Portland. His time with the Pilots was highlighted by a national championships in 2005 with the women’s program that finished the year 23-0-2.

While with Portland, Baarts helped guide the both the men and women’s teams into postseason play in 2009. That year was also the women’s fourth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Baarts was in charge of all recruiting activities during his time with the Pilots. In addition, he also oversaw scouting and preparations for opponents along with team travel. Both the men’s and women’s teams for Portland had a 96-percent graduation rate during a seven-year span under his supervision.

Over a dozen Pilots that played under Baarts went on to play professionally on soccer’s biggest stage – including Megan Rapinoe (U.S.A.), Stephanie Lopez (U.S.A.), Sophie Schmidt (Canada) and Christine Sinclair (Canada).

No stranger to success himself, Baarts was a four-year letter winner with the Pilots from 1987-90 where he guided Portland to three-consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. As a sophomore, Baarts captained the 1988 team to an undefeated regular-season as well as the program’s first semifinal appearance in the NCAA Tournament and finished with a 21-1-0 overall mark and perfect 5-0-0 mark in West Coast Conference play.

To this day, Baarts’ 13 game-winning goals still stands at second all-time in program history. He is still the single-season record holder with eight game-winning goals during the historic 1988 season.

After his collegiate career, the Vancouver, British Columbia, native spent eight seasons playing professionally with the Portland Pride, Portland Pythons and Utah Freezz.

Baarts’ coaching career started with the Portland City United youth team before leading the Sunset High School boys’ varsity team from 1991-2003, and won back-to-back coach of the year honors in 2001-02.

An active member of the United States Soccer Federation, Baarts is an “A” license holder, and has coached multiple youth soccer age divisions for the FC Portland Academy since 2004.

Baarts is married to his wife Jen and have four sons, Tyler, Carter, Tanner and Jaxson and one daughter, Nina.

“The future is simply about results; results as students, as athletes, as administrators and as citizens in our community of Las Cruces,” said Baarts. “My family and I are very much looking forward to make NM State and Las Cruces our home. I want to thank our Athletic Director, Mario Moccia for his vision and support of the women's program. I am extremely excited to get started and meeting my players!”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT COACH BAARTS…

MEGAN RAPINOE
U.S. Senior Women’s National Team Member & Former Portland Pilots Student-Athlete

“I can assure you, you are getting a good one! Barto will lead his team with character and charisma, while teaching them to play this beautiful game the right way.”

LAUREN HANSON
San José State Head Women’s Soccer Coach

“I am so happy for Rob that he has this amazing opportunity to lead the New Mexico State women's soccer team. He has an incredible soccer mind that has played and coached at the highest levels and will bring a wealth of experience. He not only knows how to create a positive hard working culture, but is gifted at connecting with his players, very motivating and does a tremendous job of teaching valuable life lessons through soccer. He is a talented hard working recruiter that has a keen eye for talent. I really look forward to seeing what the landscape of New Mexico State soccer looks like in the coming years because of how terrific Rob is. They are very fortunate to have him as their head coach!”

NEIL MCGRATH
University of California - Berkeley Head Women’s Soccer Coach

“Rob Baarts is a very talented coach and a tremendous hire for New Mexico State University. He has the perfect blend of high-level experience from his time in club, collegiate and professional soccer that will allow him to build a very successful program. Mentored by the legendary Clive Charles, Rob will bring a natural enthusiasm that will inspire each athletes to excel."

JERRY SMITH
Santa Clara University Head Women’s Soccer Coach

“Coach Baarts’ experience in helping to rebuild the San José State women's soccer program, as well as his experience helping the University of Portland win a national championship will serve him well as he looks to rebuild the program at New Mexico State and prepare them for eventual success in the NCAA Tournament. He is a great recruiter, a great coach, and most importantly, Coach Rob Baarts is a quality person of great character and integrity. The student-athletes under his leadership will have a tremendous collegiate experience while learning to be a great team on the field, and learning valuable life skills off the field.”