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Originally published Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Peter Fewing returns to coach Seattle U. soccer

Peter Fewing, who coached Seattle University's men's soccer team for 18 seasons before resigning in 2006, has returned as the Redhawks' coach. He replaces Brad Agoos, who was fired after last season.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Peter Fewing is coming home.

Six years after resigning as Seattle University's men's soccer coach, a move that stemmed from a clash with the school's previous athletic administration over a reduction of paid assistant coaches, the two-time national coach of the year was hired back Tuesday.

Fewing, 49, had coached the Redhawks from 1988 to 2006 and led the team to an NAIA championship in 1997 and an NCAA Division II title in 2004. During his introductory news conference, Fewing credited a long, heartfelt talk with president Father Stephen Sundborg with helping him get over the scars from the past.

"We had a conversation last February, not about coming back, but about reconciliation, forgiveness, and it was beautiful," Fewing said. "We spent one hour, the two of us together, and I owe him a lot — him and executive vice president Tim Leary. Those guys could've made it impossible for me to come back early, before it started. They didn't do that."

The hire ends a coaching search that Redhawks athletic director Bill Hogan called an "exhaustive process," with more than 100 applicants.

Fewing replaces Brad Agoos, who was fired in November after six seasons. Seattle U went 2-13-2 last year, 1-9 in the competitive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, and 49-49-9 overall under Agoos, who was hired after Fewing's departure.

In the two months since the position became available, Fewing said he did a lot of reflecting, thinking and praying, which put him in the right mindset to come back.

"In the back of my mind, I was always thinking to come home," he said.

Fewing has a 220-125-26 record at Seattle U. The past two seasons, he coached the Kitsap Pumas of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League and led them to a league championship last year.

Fewing has also served as a television and radio analyst for Sounders FC the past three years and expects that to continue. Both the Sounders and Seattle U are open to Fewing splitting time, but the coach insisted the Redhawks would be the priority.

The university could benefit from that link, too, as Fewing hopes to develop a connection with the Sounders' youth academy.

But a more important relationship was the one repaired with Seattle U, a place Fewing called "very, very special to him."

"There's a good story in this," he said, "and it's up to me to do it right."

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayers@seattletimes.com.

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