Despite having been involved with the Golden Bears soccer program for over a decade, taking over for one of the most successful coaches in Canada West history is a daunting task.
That is the situation Martin Fenger-Andersen finds himself in, entering his first season as the head coach of the Bears.
This winter, he was named the seventh coach in program history, as he takes over for the retired Len Vickery, who spent 34 years at the helm of the Bears.
“It is a program that I have grown up in as a player, student, and coach and it has given me so much over the years,” said Fenger-Andersen. “I look forward to continuing on the program's legacy of excellence, and to developing high-level teams, players, and students in the years to come.”
After a playing career that included two years with the Bears, and CSA Club National Championship with Edmonton Juventus, Fenger-Andersen transitioned into coaching in 2008. He began his coaching career with the Green and Gold Soccer Academy and Edmonton Juventus, before also re-joining the Bears as an assistant in 2012.
He was promoted to associate coach for the 2018 season, helping lead the Bears to a Canada West leading 12-0-2 record. In November he was named the Canada West Coach of the Year, an award Vickery captured seven times.
“Martin has been instrumental in the development of our junior program, and made his stamp on the varsity team over the past few years. He has done an excellent job in taking over from Len, and led the Bears to one of their best seasons in program history,” said U of A Athletic Director Ian Reade. “Martin brings in a fresh voice, and has done well at connecting with our talented student-athletes.”
In 34 years with the program, Vickery led the Bears to seven Canada West titles and three national championships. His 238 conference wins are the sixth most by any coach in school history, and he is one of only eight coaches with more than 300 overall victories.