The Assistant Coach for the Army Women’s Soccer Team, Bri Garcia, grew up in West Babylon, New York, with her parents and younger sister. She spent her childhood outside playing every sport imaginable and enjoying the Long Island beaches. Her grandfather, father, and aunts all having played soccer, that sport was always in her blood. When she was about thirteen or fourteen, she began getting serious about the sport and was selected for several youth national teams. It was then that she envisioned a future in that sport. In high school, several big name schools recruited her, including UConn, Maryland, Florida State, and Virginia, but after a visit to Penn State and seeing a “white out” in Beaver Stadium against Ohio State, she was committed to becoming a Nittany Lion. She started out as a back, but eventually gravitated to being a defensive midfielder. Even though she was plagued with knee injuries, she was able to play in the National Championship game against the University of North Carolina. Reflecting on how she was able to help make the team better even when she was injured, she began to consider coaching as a career choice, and her first job was as a Volunteer Assistant Coach at the University of Nebraska. While there, she met her future wife, Morgan. A successful year at Nebraska propelled her into the ranks of Assistant Coach, and she joined Adrian Blewitt at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, hoping to build a successful program. Hard work at Arkansas – Little Rock paid off, and when Coach Blewitt took a job at the United States Military Academy, Bri joined him as his assistant. At West Point, she was impressed by the selfless attitudes of the Cadets, and their dedication to a cause greater than themselves. It touched a service-oriented part of her personality, and after two years at the Military Academy and at 29 years of age, she decided to enlist in the Army, hoping to gain a full understanding of what it is like to be an Enlisted Soldier before seeking a commission.
In this interview, she talks about her childhood, her playing career, and coaching. She highlights leadership lessons she has learned along the way at different stages in her development. She reflects on what coaching at West Point means to her, and how working with Cadets motivated her to join the Army. She describes meeting her wife, and the mutual decision they made to become an Army Family. She discusses her goals, and where she sees her future service taking her. Throughout the interview, she reflects on what service means to her.