Heather McCallum took a year off from coaching this past school year, but is ready for a new challenge ahead.

McCallum was recently named the new head coach for the Magnolia West girls team after she previously was an assistant with the Mustangs two seasons ago.

“The opening became available and I expressed an interest to Dr. (Ben) King, who at the time was the principal, and (Magnolia ISD athletic director) coach (JD) Berna that when that position became available, that I was interested, ” McCallum said. “But I think my attraction was that I had worked as an assistant in the 2019-20 season and I’ve been around the girls this summer as the head coach.

“They are a phenomenal group on and off the field.”

If the McCallum surname is familiar, it’s because Heather’s daughter Maya was a standout for Magnolia West the past few seasons and will begin her collegiate career this fall at Sam Houston State.

Magnolia West had a difficult season this past winter as it went 3-10-4 overall last year with a 0-9-4 record in District 19-5A, which left them in seventh place above Brenham.

“We’ve lost some influential players who graduated,” McCallum said. “That’s definitely going to be an obstacle that we’ll have to overcome. I don’t want to view it as a road block. We can move forward.”

The Mustangs have had a hard time when it comes to girls soccer since the school opened. They’ve only been to the playoffs one time and that will be 12 years ago when this coming season commences.

A clean slate and a new leader could be just what the doctor ordered.

“I’m excited to bring that knowledge and experience to West and hopefully kind of get us on the map and grow the program,” McCallum said.

McCallum played for Fort Bend Clements and for a club team called the Demolition. She didn’t pursue college soccer but stayed in connection with people from the club, collegiate and professional level through the years. Plus, both her daughters are involved in the sport as well.

“My goal is just to be better than where we are starting,” McCallum said. “This is the rebuild. Better competition on the field, better individual players, better as a team unit. If that translates into better results and more team wins…that will be the icing on the cake.”

McCallum is excited about who’s coming back and how they have been performing in summer workouts.

“We still have a solid core of players,” McCallum said. “I’m hoping to see some new players. Maybe some players who took a year off and are coming back. I just want to stress the fact to these girls that we are moving forward and kind of put it in their hands.”

The transition to head coach has been made a little easier based on the fact that she is only a year removed from working within the program and has also been a biology teacher the past two years as the school as well.

“Change isn’t always easy,” McCallum said. “I was a coach and then I wasn’t the coach. Now I’m the head coach. I have a true understanding of the game and have worked with a lot of these girls already. Just getting them excited about it.”

With soccer season about four months away, McCallum, along with her new assistant coach Samantha Buller, are ready for the opportunity.

“I’m just honored and really excited to work with them to try to rebuild the program and move forward,” McCallum said.

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