WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Acadia University and Executive Director of Athletics Kevin Dickie are pleased to announce the hiring of Amit Batra as Acadia's first full-time head coach of both the Axewomen and Axemen soccer teams.
Batra will be directing and managing all aspects of the overall soccer program, including recruitment, fundraising, student-athlete development and community engagement.
"We've worked hard over the years to become regionally and nationally competitive soccer teams. We knew the opportunity to get better was in providing full-time leadership. We have had two of the top coaches in the country and the sustainability of our success couldn't depend on their capacity as part-time coaches and their current professional responsibilities," noted Dickie.
Heading into his tenth season at Acadia, Batra was the AUS Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2018. Batra's 2016 team finished fifth in the nation as host of the U SPORTS championship and has appeared in the AUS finals four out of the last six seasons.
"Amit will lead Acadia's soccer program, and to simply have his leadership and passion around our Complex on a full-time basis will be great for our student-athletes and also for our department as a whole. Amit will be responsible for all core areas of U SPORTS coaching.," pointed out Dickie.
Findlay MacRae, who has been the head coach of the Axemen since the team's return to AUS competition in 2006, will remain with the team as the associate head coach. Named the AUS coach of the year in 2015 and AUS / U SPORTS Coach of the Year in 2016, MacRae led the Axemen to a first place finish in the AUS standings and an appearance at the U SPORTS National Championship. MacRae will continue to lead the Axemen on the field.
"To have Findlay continue with our Axemen as associate head coach makes this model even more special. He's well respected within our Department and now he can focus on the technical aspects and player development that he loves. With these changes, I'm very excited about the future of Acadia's Soccer Program," concluded Dickie.
Katie Aucoin, who has been with the women's soccer team for four years, will take on a larger role assisting the Axewomen program. Aucoin is a former Axewomen soccer rookie of the year and has previously coached provincial teams.
"I'm excited for what this means for the program and even more pleased that within this new direction for Acadia Varsity soccer that we will be able to retain Findlay MacRae. I have to credit Kevin Dickie and Acadia University for their vision and investment in this role and the impact it will have on our student-athletes," said Batra on his new role with the Acadia soccer program.
The Axemen and Axewomen open the AUS regular season at home on Friday, September 6 against the Mount Allison Mounties.