The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

48° Stony Brook, NY
The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Anatol brings international experience to Stony Brook Soccer

    Ryan Anatol, head coach of the Stony Brook men’s soccer team, is ready to begin his journey as the head of his own team and take aim at the ultimate prize.

    “My goal is to win a national championship,” he said. “That’s the goal. That’s the vision. That’s where we want to take this thing.”

    According to, Head Coach George Kiefer of the University of South Florida men’s soccer team said that Anatol was amongst the top assistant coaches in the nation during his time at USF. But now he is ready to take charge of his own squadron.

    After the 2010 soccer season, Anatol fielded different options as to where he would like to test what he had learned as an assistant on a new team. It was announced on Feb. 18 of this year that he had decided on Stony Brook.

    “I had some other opportunities and for me, I didn’t want to go to a school or program that I didn’t think could be successful,” he said. “That’s when I started looking into Stony Brook and what Stony Brook had from an academic standpoint and the reputation of the university. I had the chance to sit down and speak with [Athletic Director] Jim Fiore and learn about his vision for the athletic department. That’s what really sold me on the school and the program.”

    Stony Brook is the current stop for Anatol on a long road in collegiate soccer that began at USF, where he played from 1997 to 2000 and graduated with a degree in Mass Communications. He was named co-captain in his senior year.

    “It was a good program,” he said. “Coming from Trinidad, I liked the fact that it was in Florida. I followed collegiate athletics.”

    While Anatol spent plenty of time playing soccer in Trinidad and Tobago, including playing on the Under 20 National Team from 1995 to 1996, he knew that the only way to advance forward to was venture to the States.

    “Trinidad has no collegiate athletics,” he said. “So, as a high school kid who plays a sport, the next step was to go to college in the U.S. It was a great opportunity not only to develop as an athlete but also as a student. I never knew when I first left that I’d still be here so many years later.”

    Anatol would begin his career in coaching immediately following his time as a student-athlete at USF. Previous Head Coach John Hackworth granted him the opportunity to be a volunteer assistant coach.

    “I always enjoyed coaching,” he said, “And even when I was a player I was interested in coaches. I’m fortunate in that I’ve had a lot of coaches who’ve had a positive impact on my development. “

    Hackleworth’s offer basically sealed the deal for Anatol on what he wanted to do for years to come. As he said, “The passion just grew from there.”

    Even after many years at USF and a couple of other schools, Anatol said that the transition to Stony Brook hasn’t been difficult.

    “We really haven’t had much time to think about it to be honest with you,” he said. “I’ve been very surprised at how warm and welcoming everybody’s been. Not being from New York, you always hear about New York and get the impression that [it] is all hustle and bustle and city life. And Long Island, especially the Stony Brook area, is a little bit different. It’s a family community.”

    That would be a great thing for Anatol too as he not only brings his coaching experience with him but also his wife, Natalie, and his two children, Anthony and Ava Rose, as well.

    “I’m very fortunate that my wife, Natalie, is fantastic in what she does and takes care of [the children] and provides for them,” he said. “They came up with me from day one. That was something that was important to us. I’m fortunate that Natalie was born on Long Island, so she still has some family on the Island. That makes it a little bit easier for us as well.”

    Now that the season is under way, Anatol has had to put what he learned as an assistant to work.

    The team has gone 6-4-1 overall and 2-0 in the America East conference after its victory over the University of Vermont on Friday.

    Stony Brook has won five of their last six games.

    “Development is the biggest thing for us,” Anatol said. “It’s how we’re progressing on a daily basis. That’s what I’ve said from day one. We’re definitely seeing an improvement. I think we’ve come a long way.”

    Leave a Comment
    Donate to The Statesman

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Stony Brook University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The Statesman

    Comments (0)

    All The Statesman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *