New coaching staff for women’s soccer
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At the end of last year’s soccer season, women’s head coach and founder Pete Kowall decided to step down and hand over the reins. This summer, UIS Athletic Director Kim Pate hired Molly Grisham as the new head coach for the women’s soccer team.
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Molly Grisham as head women’s soccer coach,” said Pate. “Coach Grisham is the perfect person to take our women’s soccer program to the next level. She has great energy and brings a broad range of coaching experience as well as a tremendous passion for coaching women’s soccer. I was extremely impressed with Grisham’s coaching philosophy – focused on developing student athletes to their potential. I look forward to the continued development of UIS Women’s Soccer to a top contending DII program under Grisham’s leadership,” said Pate, according to the Prairie Stars’ website.
Grisham comes to UIS from Wayne State College in Neb. after coaching there for four years. In 2010, Grisham earned Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Coach of the Year honors after her team recorded its first winning season since 2005. That same season, the program had its second-ever athlete selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Region team.
With a strong emphasis on success in the classroom, Grisham led three teams to earn NSCAA Academic honors, while improving the overall team grade-point average each season. Grisham gained international coaching experience in the summer of 2010 leading the USA Athletes International Women’s Soccer Team in a trip to face club and collegiate teams in Argentina.
With a strong pull from the soccer communities in the Central Illinois area and the Great Lakes Valley Conference, Grisham has several goals in mind for the women’s soccer team. “[I would like] to continue to improve every day, to build the team, and develop the program,” she said.
In addition to Grisham, a familiar face will be returning to the women’s soccer team, however – not to play. Former soccer player and alumna Erin Egolf was chosen by Grisham to be her new assistant coach. “Coaching is what I want to do and being the assistant coach at UIS is beneficial and close to home, and I am glad to be able to learn from Molly,” said Egolf. “I am sad that I am not playing, but I believe that coaching is the next best thing that allows me to stay in touch with the game I love.”
With Egolf’s former player status, one might think it would be harder for her to coach. However, she believes that being a former player will be beneficial. “The girls have treated me like any other coach and being a former member of this team it gives me inside knowledge on the team and I really enjoy coaching so far.” She added that what she enjoys the most about coaching is being able “to see the players meet for the first time, and seeing them bond and work together on the field. I am really excited to see what they to this upcoming season.”
With a new coaching staff leading the way for UIS’ women’s soccer program, great things are to come from this dynamic duo and team.