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CNCC’s soccer program takes next step, hires new coach

Program head Lance Noble planning tryouts for men’s, women’s teams, local athletes welcome

Lance Noble was recently hired as the head coach for the Colorado Northwestern Community College Craig campus men's and women's soccer teams. Noble played at the professional level and has a total 17 years coaching experience at all college levels.
Andy Bockelman

A new program at Colorado Northwestern Community CollegeColorado Northwestern Community College is coming up fast, even more so now that it’s got a new leader. is coming up fast, even more so now that it’s got a new leader.

Colorado Northwestern Community College is coming up fast, even more so now that it’s got a new leader.

The CNCC men’s and women’s soccer teams now have a coach, with Lance Noble recently hired to take on the sport, new for the Craig campus.

Noble has decades of experience in soccer, first becoming a professional-level player straight out of high school with the United States Interregional Soccer League, playing with teams in Texas and Arkansas before suffering a “tib-fib compound,” a severe fracture of the lower leg’s tibia and fibula, at age 20 that effectively ended his time as a player and required bone in his extremity to be replaced with metal plating.

“I had to retire as a professional athlete before I was old enough to have a beer,” he said. “I loved it, wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world and kind of went from there.”

Noble, 46, has amassed 17 years of college coaching, a head coach at virtually all levels, including NCAA Divisions I, II and III; National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics; and junior college.

A head coach at the age of 22 for a men’s team he started with University of Dallas, he also worked with other Texas schools, such as University of St. Mary’s in San Antonio, Steven F. Austin University in Nacogdoches and Texas A&M International in Laredo.

He’s also devoted time to the US Olympic Development Program for about 20 years.

About eight years of his time coaching was with both men’s and women’s teams.

“That’s pretty far and few between now,” Noble said. “You either love it or you hate it, and I’m someone who loves coaching for both teams.”

Noble said he truly enjoys working with schools that are just getting started building teams from the ground up, noting that CNCC was a great fit for him.

“Colorado is a very strong soccer state, I’ve recruited out of here for several of my other universities,” he said. “I’m blessed to be given this opportunity. It’s a new program but a very organized program.”

CNCC first announced plans in AprilCNCC first announced plans in April for a soccer program in Craig, the first official team on campus joining the many sports that the CNCC Rangely site enjoys. for a soccer program in Craig, the first official team on campus joining the many sports that the CNCC Rangely site enjoys.

CNCC first announced plans in April for a soccer program in Craig, the first official team on campus joining the many sports that the CNCC Rangely site enjoys.

During the announcement, CNCC Athletic Director Jeff Devere noted that the junior college system is as heavily competitive as any.

“We’re starting a collegiate athletic program that could easily have participants who become world-class players,” Devere said.

With 12 games already on the schedule — with regional opponents including Utah State University Eastern and Salt Lake City Community College — Noble hopes to have eight to 10 more scheduled by the time they begin in August.

Many of the schools CNCC will face are also just getting started with soccer.

Noble plans to host open tryouts at sites in both Craig and Denver in July, though the exact date is undetermined. He has yet to meet with any area athletes about the possibility of playing for the Spartans, though it’s something he’d love to see, as well as a large turnout from the community once games — for which admission will be free — get going.

“We’d love to have local talent on both teams,” he said. “The goal is to win, put competitive teams on the field right away. We want to take care of business in the classroom as well as on the soccer field.”

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.


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