Engelbrecht resigns

National search for head coach begins


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Women’s head soccer coach Krissy Engelbrecht informs her players of the next play during the Kick for the Cure game in October. Engelbrecht announced her resignation after 13 years as the head coach.

After 13 seasons as head coach of the women’s soccer team, Krissy Engelbrecht announced her resignation.

Engelbrecht said she thought it would be best for her family if she allowed someone else to take over the program.

She said now she has both a 9-year-old and a 2-year-old at home.

“I feel the program is in a really good place,” Engelbrecht said. “I feel really comfortable leaving (at this time).”

Engelbrecht said with 22 players returning for the season next year the whole team is stable.

The group will also add in some new recruits and “it’s all just very positive” she said.

Assistant coach Eric Schoenstein is acting as interim head coach while the university conducts a national search for Engelbrechts replacement.

He said the time he worked with Engelbrecht was an amazing experience and he thinks she is a great coach and a great individual.

Schoenstein said he will apply as a candidate for the head coaching position and is passionate about the opportunity.

He graduated from USI in 1993 and in 2014 became the first full-time assistant coach the women’s soccer team has ever had.

“I would love the opportunity to move forward with the program,” he said. “I would love the opportunity to give back to the school that gave me so much.”

Engelbrecht said a university always completes a national search, but she believes Schoenstein is a great candidate for the position because the players respect him and he proved himself over the past two years.

Athletic director Jon Mark Hall said it’s normal for the university to conduct a national search even if there is an internal applicant interested.

The first step in the process will be to set up a search committee. Hall expects to be able to post a job opening soon and hopes candidates will begin to flow in.

The second half of this approach will include the university searching for applicants themselves.

“We will be pretty aggressive in reaching out to people across the country,” Hall said. “When we find qualified people we bring them in.”

He said overall the goal is to find the best possible coach and hopefully have them instated before the final signing date for the fall season.

“(If) Coach Schoenstein is the best person for the job he will be extended that offer,” Hall said.

Schoenstein said he and Engelbrecht talked about the future of the university and they both see success.

Hall said he believes Schoenstein understands “the nature of the business” and the chance that if a new coach is hired they will want to bring in a new assistant as well.

If the university does not hire Schoenstein, the new coach could come in with a different philosophy or different style of play and it will be their decision to retain him or to choose a new assistant.

“The tough part is when someone steps away like that we have to get in a hurry,” Hall said. “It’s not to be insensitive, but we have to look pretty quickly.”

The women’s soccer season is over for the year so the change will not cause any disruption to the season and the players focus is on finals.

Engelbrecht said she and the team said their goodbyes, but since it is during finals and close to winter break their focus is on academics.

She said it isn’t much different than if she was there during this time of year.

Hall said Engelbrecht grew along with the program during her 13 years.

“Engelbrecht was a tireless worker,” Hall said. “She really cared about the program.”