New soccer coach takes the lead

Stephanie Peel brings substantial experience to the team

Blanca Reyes, Editor-in-Chief

Peel has extensive coaching experience. (Staff Photo/Blanca Reyes)

Stephanie Peel is the new Richland women’s soccer team coach, taking over the role after Scott Toups decided to step down from coaching to join the full-time faculty.

Coach Peel started on Feb. 6 and she and the team started training immediately since friendly games are being played.

“Just right away when I came in, I was impressed by how the girls work, by the quality of their training. I was impressed by the intensity that they worked out,” Peel said.

Peel said she grew up playing soccer in the Dallas area because this sport runs in her family. Both of her parents were soccer coaches and his brother played soccer as well.

Although Toups has not seen coach Peel in action yet, he thinks she has made the program her own.

“She has her own practices. She has her own style,” Toups said. “She made the program her own and that’s what we want.”

Coach Peel has extensive experience coaching in the United States and abroad. After high school, she went to Arizona State and played there for four years.

After graduating, Peel earned a master’s degree while coaching at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

After being the assistant coach at Lehigh University, she played in Sweden for a year and a half. Then she came back to the U.S. and returned to Lehigh University and coached for Moravian University, also in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

“Then I moved back to Dallas, and I’ve been here now for nine years. And I was coaching a high school team and teaching,” Peel said.

Since Peel came back to Dallas, she has been teaching in the Dallas Independent School District.

“I’ve been in the community. I live in the community, and I wanted to move from teaching to coaching full time,” Peel said. “Richland really is my community. I wanted to stay in my community and work with the student athletes.”

Peel had a chance to meet with departing coach Toups when she arrived at Richland.

“I met him, and we’ve connected, and he’s been supportive in the transition and helped me,” said Peel.

Besides the success on the field, Peel is looking for her team’s academic success beyond Richland. She is trying to get the team more disciplined and focused academically, so their grades are better by the time they graduate.

“That’s one thing I think that I’d like to focus on for the improvement across the board,” she said.

Peel said assistant coach Vinson Brown has also helped her through the adaptation period. The players have also been very supportive. “I think we’re starting to build a really good chemistry and we have a lot of work ahead of us, but I can see that the talent is there, the drive is there, and I can see that we are all working to kind of hit in that direction,” Peel said, adding, “So I think this group is going to be really good next season.”

For more information about the coach, the women’s soccer team, and other teams visit or stop by Guadalupe Hall.