Eastern Mennonite University has announced the hiring of Ted Erickson as the new head women’s soccer coach. Erickson, a 2005 EMU alum, becomes the fifth head coach in the history of the program.
He has been the head coach of boys’ soccer at Harrisonburg High School since 2007. During those same years, Erickson has also been an assistant coach for EMU’s women’s and men’s programs, as well as with the Bridgewater College men.
The Blue Streaks have won four Massanutten District championships during his tenure. HHS finished fourth in the state tournament in 2009 and was the Region III champions in 2010. Erickson was named Region III Coach of the Year that season and has also earned two district coach of the year nods.
As a four-year starter during his playing days at Eastern Mennonite, Erickson was a team captain and All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference player.
The local successes of the Harrisonburg native combined with his experience at EMU made him the right candidate for the Royals’ program.
“I am really excited to have Ted join the quality athletic staff we have at EMU,” said Director of Athletics Dave King. “His commitment to the university and willingness to do the hard work of building a quality, competitive program makes him a good fit at EMU. His understanding of the university and his eagerness to give back to EMU for the ways in which his time here as a student changed his life, provides him with tools for successful recruiting.”
Erickson is excited by the rebuilding the women’s program has seen recently.
“I see the women’s soccer program as just a few steps away from being one of the elite women’s programs in the ODAC,” he explained. “My hope is to bring in some of the talented local girls as well as reconnect with some of the Mennonite communities across the United States. I believe that with my connection to this community, our girls can connect with them and build excitement for the program.”
With just one senior on the team last fall, the EMU women finished 10-9 for a seven-win improvement from 2012 and their first trip to the ODAC Tournament since 2010. It was also their first winning record since 2008.
“We will be a possession-oriented team,” said Erickson. “Our plan is to build the attack up and send multiple numbers into the attack to give ourselves the best opportunity to finish chances. We will be a strong defensive-minded team with the understanding that everyone defends so that everyone can attack.”
Erickson also plans to have his team connected to the community.
“We will help out at local schools, coordinate activities with after school programs, and help with other small events within the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Community,” he said. “We hope that getting out and serving the community will help build relationships and in turn create some excitement to come out and cheer on the women during the season.”
King said that even with Erickson’s familiarity with EMU women’s and men’s soccer, he will bring some fresh approaches that will help ignite the program.
“Ted’s relational skills and his understanding of how to build a women’s soccer program stood out to the search committee as attributes that are needed to move the program forward,” King commented. “His desire to build a team that is connected to the community, gives back to the community and excites the community also resonated with us.”
The Royals will start their 2014 campaign the last weekend of August. The full schedule will be released early this summer.