For Western Hills’ boys soccer team, there will be a familiar face in a new role this fall.
Emmanuel Nfor, a 2009 graduate of WHHS, has been hired as the school’s head boys soccer coach. He served as the junior varsity coach last year and is the head coach for boys soccer at Bondurant Middle School.
Nfor, 22, replaces Daniel Cowan, who resigned after two years as the Wolverines’ head coach. Nfor is the third head coach in the past six years.
While this is his first high school head coaching job, Nfor has coached select soccer teams in Frankfort and Louisville, and he’s worked with the boys and girls team at Bondurant.
He’ll continue as the boys soccer coach at BMS.
“I really have a passion for it,” Nfor said about coaching. “Once I stopped playing and started coaching, I fell in love with it.
“There’s no concrete explanation why I like coaching, just a feeling that it’s what I’m meant to be doing. When I have an opportunity to work with players, I love it.”
Nfor is from Cameroon and lived there for 12 years before his family moved to the United States 10 years ago.
His brother, Elma, who also played soccer at WHHS, graduated earlier this month. Nfor has a sister who plays soccer at Bondurant and a brother at Collins Lane who also plays soccer.
“We’re a whole family of soccer players,” said Nfor, who doesn’t remember a time when he didn’t play soccer. “In Africa you play as soon as you’re born. We’d play on the way to school, and we’d stop and play on our way home.”
Nfor’s soccer career continued after high school. He played at Campbellsville University for 2½ years and transferred to Kentucky State University after his father passed away in 2012.
Nfor is employed by the law firm of True Guarnieri Ayer while continuing his education.
“I’m taking classes, trying to complete my bachelor’s degree in psychology, and I’ll take some classes at BCTC this summer,” he said. “I’ve got to get that degree. There’s too much money not to get my degree.”
Soccer practice begins in mid-July, and having coached the JV team last year gives Nfor a head start with this year’s varsity team.
“The JV guys were an awesome group,” he said. “Now that I’m going to be the varsity coach, I’m very excited about the young guys coming up.
“We graduated some key players who were strong, especially at the defensive end, the back line. We have a good group expected to fill those spots, and I’m excited to see who steps up to take the open spots that are available.”
Nfor doesn’t plan on making sweeping changes as the head coach.
“I think a whole lot of changes is not the best move right off the bat,” he said.
While his collegiate career is over, Nfor hasn’t stopped playing soccer. He played wing most of his career and was playing more striker toward the end of his time at Campbellsville.
“I play soccer indoors, I play some in a summer co-ed league, in pick-up games,” he said. “I try to play as much as I can, and I try to stay active through playing.”
And this summer when he’s not playing soccer, he’s watching it, taking in as many World Cup matches as he can.
“I love it,” he said. “There’s no other event I look forward to every four years like the World Cup. I’m enjoying every minute of it, for sure.”