Soccer scores new leader

The Cougar soccer team has a new face at its helm. 

Director of Athletics Bill Moos named Steve Nugent the new head coach of women’s soccer at WSU on Thursday. Nugent will be the sixth coach since the program began. 

“I am confident Steve Nugent is the ideal choice to maintain one of the premier women’s soccer programs in the Pac-12,” Moos said in a press release. “His experience, an upgraded facility, and quality student-athletes put us in a great position to meet and exceed the goals we have set.”

Nugent served as the head coach for the last three years at UNC Greensboro, where he coached the 2012 squad to the Southern Conference regular season title. 

Prior to working at UNCG, Nugent was an assistant coach at Georgia from 2008-2011. Both the 2008 and 2009 Georgia teams qualified for the NCAA postseason. 

He also was an assistant coach at Rice University in 2001. 

Nugent joins a Cougar team that has gone to the NCAA Championship in five of the last six seasons. Last season, the team finished with a 14-3-4 record and hosted an NCAA postseason match for the first time since 2000. 

The Cougars matched or set 28 school records last season and finished second in the Pac-12 Conference. 

“I am extremely happy to be coming to Pullman, and I am very excited to build on the success the program has established in recent years,” Nugent said. “With the returning group of student-athletes, an improved facility, and the Pac-12 Networks exposure, this is a tremendous opportunity for my family and me.”

This hiring comes after former Head Coach Keidane McAlpine left the team in December. McAlpine is now the head coach for women’s soccer at USC.