Head Men's Soccer Coach
Thomas Olivier was hired as West Liberty’s first men’s soccer coach of the NCAA Division II era in February. The Hilltoppers will compete at the club level during the 2017 fall season before kicking off as a full varsity intercollegiate program in 2018.
Olivier comes to West Liberty after a successful 8-year stint as the top assistant at NCAA Division I Marshall University and has also been extremely active on the youth soccer scene at the state and regional level.
The new Hilltopper coach was the top assistant to legendary head coach Bobby Gray during his eight seasons at Marshall. Charged with leading recruiting and on-field player development, Olivier helped guide the Thundering Herd to four Conference USA Tournament bids and two trips to the Conference USA championship game.
Olivier has extensive experience with and strong ties to the youth soccer community. He continues to serve as Director of Coaching Education for the West Virginia Soccer Association (WVSA) and is a member of U.S. Youth Soccer Region One Olympic Development Program (ODP) coaching staff.
Before coming to the Mountain State, Olivier spent eight years in Ann Arbor, Mich., working full-time as a coach with the Ann Arbor Arsenal youth club. He served as that club's Director of Coaching during his last four years.
The highly-regarded soccer mentor holds the NSCAA Premier Diploma and U.S. Soccer “B” License.
Coach Olivier resides in Wheeling with his wife, Venessa, and their three boys: Cody (13) and twins Eli and Aaron (11).
Head Women's Soccer Coach
Building off the momentum from a stirring late-season surge that carried his West Liberty women into post-season play for the second time in the last three seasons, head coach Barry Christmas has his sights set even higher for 2019.
Christmas’s 2018 Lady Hilltoppers won four of their last five matches to not only clinch a Mountain East Conference Tournament bid but lock up the first home playoff match in program history as the No. 2 seed in the MEC North Division.
West Liberty made history in that match, battling Fairmont State to a scoreless draw through regular time and two extra-time periods before notching the first post-season win in program history in a thrilling penalty-kick shootout.
Several WLU standouts received post-season honors. Sophomore defender Cate Calissie was a second-team All-MEC pick while sophomore forward Kaelyn Oskin earned MEC All-Tournament honors. Junior defender Caitlin deVries, a 2-time All-MEC honoree, was named to the Google Cloud NCAA Division II Academic All-District Team and nominated for Academic All-America honors.
All three standouts will be back in Black and Gold for the 2019 campaign, heading up a strong returning nucleus for the veteran head man.
A native of Manchester, England, Christmas was hired as WLU’s first women’s soccer coach in January 2011. The Hilltopper women competed at the club level during the 2011 season and kicked off their first varsity intercollegiate season in the fall of 2012.
Christmas came to the university following a successful stint at nearby Bethany (W.Va.) College. In just four seasons, Christmas led the NCAA Division III program back to PAC prominence with a defense that posted a school record 6 shutouts in 2008 and matched that number in 2009 and 2010.
A total of 11 Bethany players earned All-PAC honors during his four years at the helm and Christmas saved his best for last. The 2009 Bison squad went 9-8-2 for the school’s first winning season in a decade and the 2010 team finished at .500 with an 8-8-2 mark.
Before taking the women’s reins at Bethany, Christmas spent two seasons as an assistant with the men’s program. The Bison men were 26-10-4 during his two seasons on the staff, which included a sizzling 13-3-2 mark in PAC play. In his last year with the men, Bethany set a school record with 8 consecutive shutouts en route to a 14-4-3 record that included a PAC regular-season title and an NCAA Division III playoff berth.
The Hilltopper coach came to America for the first time in 1997 to serve as a coach at soccer camps. He returned to England in 2001 to take a position with the professional club Northwich Victoria FC as head coach of their youth team before returning to the United States in 2005.
In addition to his UEFA and NSCAA advanced coaching certifications, Christmas is a member of the West Virginia Soccer Association’s Olympic Development coaching staff and is part of the state’s Coach Education staff.
Christmas earned his bachelor’s degree in Sports Science and Coaching Psychology at Staffordshire University and holds a master’s degree in Education from Manchester Metropolitan University. He resides in Wheeling with his wife, Jennifer-Renee, and their three children, Chelsey, Caige and Rhiannon.
Graduate Assistant Men's Soccer Coach
Chris Doran returns for his second year as a graduate assistant on head coach Thomas Olivier’s staff with the West Liberty men’s soccer program.
A native of Rotherham, England, Doran came to West Liberty after serving as an assistant on Alderson-Broaddus' 2016 G-MAC championship team. He and Olivier were assistant coaches at Marshall University in 2015 when the Thundering Herd advanced to the Conference USA championship game. Doran broke into the coaching ranks at Bethany College, working with the Bison from 2013-15.
Doran played his college soccer at Alderson-Broaddus (W.Va.) University, where he was honored in 2015 by being named to the Men's Soccer All-50 Team as one of the best players in the program's 50 years of existence. A 2-time All-WVIAC selection and the WVIAC Freshman of the Year, Doran was a four-year starter and two-year captain with the Battlers.
He graduated from Alderson-Broaddus with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health Studies and holds a master's degree in Teaching Education. Doran has also earned an NSCAA National Diploma, USSF D License and a FA Level 2 License.