Coach Justin Wagar

  • 20 years as a successful University soccer coach
  • NCAA Division 1 head coach
  • Highest win percentage in GSU history
  • NCAA D-1 Conference title in 2018 & 2023
  • 158-118-23 overall coaching record
  • Six years of nationally ranked defenses four years of nationally ranked offense.
  • Six time Conference Coach of the Year

Helping Individuals and teams to find the right college

Coach Justin Wagar after 20 years as a successful University soccer coach is using his experience to help aspiring student-athletes get recruited to go play at the collegiate level as a College Prep Coordinator. Wagar who recently retired as an NCAA Division 1 head coach posting the highest win percentage in GSU school history for soccer while leading the team to three championship games, a Conference title in 2018 and four straight ten-win seasons says “he’s thrilled to get the opportunity to work with youth to guide them and their families to make the college recruitment process easier.”

If there’s anyone that understands the competitive levels in collegiate and how to navigate the ins and outs of preparation and eligibility, its Coach Wagar. In his coaching career Wagar spent 16 years as a University head coach, having spent ten years at the NCAA Division 1 level, eight years at the NCAA D-2 level, and two years at the NAIA level amassing an outstanding 158-118-23 overall record with 14 playoff bids in his 16 years at the helm while leading two of his teams to national tournament bids.

In 2020, all of our college athletics were canceled due to covid and that opened the door for other possibilities to explore where he could be of use in the sports world. In this new role, he intends to help aspiring college athletes and their families by guiding them through the recruiting process and helping to steer them to a path that presents a good fit for their future.

Coaching History: While at Grambling State University, Wagar guided the team to a 47-34-6 overall record with four straight playoff bids including a first and two second-place finishes. The team went from second to last in the nation to a regional stand-out team including leading the Tigers to a record 14 wins in 2018 when the team went 14-8 with their first conference title in over a decade. That team boasted the first player in the conference who was called into the USWNT U-19 national team camp (Haileigh Adams) who went on to be the Conference Defender of the Year in 2018, she also helped the team set a school record 13 shutouts which ranked GSU 10th in NCAA Division 1 for most blank sheets on the year. The GSU Soccer program was recently ranked the 4th most improved soccer program in the nation over a three-year period and garnered Wagar national recognition. Wagar was also selected as the Conference Coach of the Year in 2017 and again in 2018, his fifth time being selected as COY in his career. He was chosen as the Louisiana Sports Writers Association State Coach of the Year as well and the Universities top coach of the Year two years in a row and his team was honored as the sports team of the year three times in four years at GSU.

In his career, Wagar has developed five youth national team players and nearly two dozen alumni who have had the opportunity to continue playing professionally after their college stints.

Wagar had a gifted 2020 roster lined up that included three youth national team players from their respective countries. Transfer Kaydeen Jack represented the U-17 Trinidad and Tobago team, Charlotte Wilford Carroll New Zealand U-20 team, and Briana Hernandez El Salvador U-20 national team.

Prior to Grambling State, Wagar served as the Recruiting Coordinator and top assistant coach at Portland State University. Before Portland State, Wagar coached at nearby Eastern Oregon University, where he led the team to a 26-10-4 record between 2015-2017, making him the winningest coach in EOU history at the time.

In 2015, EOU qualified for the national tournament for the first time ever with a 17-3-1 record. That year, they posted the seventh-best record in the nation with the fourth-best defense and 14th-best offense in the country. Two EOU players that year were honored as All-American selections.

From 2009-2014, Wagar was the head coach at Division II New Mexico Highlands University. In just two years, he turned the program around leading a team that had posted 16 straight losing seasons to a 12-win campaign, which featured a trip to the NCAA tournament while breaking every record in school history. He was honored as the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2010 and would go on to lead the team to four playoff bids with winning seasons in his last five years there leaving NMHU as the winningest coach in program history.

Prior to his time at NMHU, Wagar was the head coach for BYU-Hawaii where he was tasked to start the inaugural women’s soccer program. The BYUH first-year team killed it going12-4 with a second-place finish in the Pacific West Conference. That same season, BYU-Hawaii recorded the 15th-best scoring offense in the nation among NCAA Division II squads and the 22nd-toughest defense. In 2007, the Seasiders took first place claiming the conference championship with a 10-2 league record finishing 13-6-1 overall. Wagar was once again selected as the Pacific West Coach of the Year.

Before taking the job at BYU-Hawaii, Wagar coached at Utah Valley University for two and a half years as an assistant coach before stepping in as the interim head coach in 2005 for nine months. In his first stint as a Division 1 head coach, Wagar led the team to a first-place seed heading into in the United Soccer Conference Tournament and signed the top recruiting class by Soccer Buzz America in their respective nine-team conference.

He has mentored seven golden boot winners (leading scorers in the conference) and four All-American strikers, as well as having four top-25 nationally ranked offenses and six nationally ranked defenses in his career.

Playing career: Wagar played collegiately at BYU-Hawaii from 1998-99, where he captained the team as a sweeper and led the Seasiders to the most successful season in NCAA Division II history.

He also played in two national championships, one for ODP and one for his collegiate club team at Utah Valley University helping lead the Wolverines to their first-ever national tournament as an All-American center back.  As the Utah Olympic Development men’s team captain, he helped Utah to their first bid to Nationals for the final 4 in Tampa Florida for the men’s select team to ever go.

Wagar is a native of Kennewick, Washington, and graduated from BYU-Hawaii in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. He has a seven-year-old daughter, Isabelle Marie who lives in St. George. He and his wife, Jamae, also have an 8 year-old son Grayson, six-year-old son named Maxtin, a four year-old little sister, Beckham and Baylor is their baby girl who recently turned one.

Justin said speaking of guiding future college players through the recruiting process “I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with so many fantastic teams, players and people from all over the world to teach them about the recruiting process and help provide for them better methods and opportunities for how to get recruited. I’m thrilled to be a recruiter and mentor for aspiring student-athletes and their families to lead them through the recruiting process. ”  To contact Justin Wagar or for more info email him at: 

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