Four years ago, Ferris won just three games in an 18-game season. Prior to the Bulldogs’ remodel of staff, Ferris had visited the conference tournament just twice in the program’s history.
Yet in July 2010, the Bulldogs named Matt Kellogg, a former assistant at Division I Morehead State, as head coach, and the women’s soccer team rebounded after a dismal season in 2009.
Kellogg helped improve the win total by four wins in his first season, then by two more his second season.
“I considered this season a success,” Kellogg said. “We improved our wins total, and it was our first winning season since 2005.”
The improvement has caught the eye of Division I University of North Dakota, where Kellogg will be headed in the 2013 season to join the Fighting Sioux.
“My goal was to be able to get a job at a Division I school where I can get comfortable for a few years.” Kellogg said, “I want to go somewhere and change the culture of a program, like I was able to here.”
Kellogg made sure his decision had zero effect on his final season with the Bulldogs by waiting weeks after the foot of the season to announce he would not return as head coach in 2012-13.
“I think we were all really caught off guard,” sophomore midfielder Stephanie Garland said. “But I’d say we’re happy for him in his move up and wish him luck.”
Ex-UND head coach Kristen Gay’s contract went without renewal during 2012, which sparked the search for a replacement.
The Fighting Sioux finished 2-13-1 in the 2012 campaign, a season that saw them suffer a three-game goal drought and a five-game stretch in which they scored just one goal.
While Kellogg is headed away, the Bulldogs will not soon forget the impact he made in the program’s history.
“He was a tough coach, but he always had our best interests at heart,” sophomore midfielder Leanne Boehm said. “I’ll miss the practices where he’d joke around with us and made it fun.”
The search for a new coach has already begun and could be concluded within the next two months, according to Garland.
“[Associate Athletic Director] Jon Coles has been amazing so far,” Garland said. “He called all of us right away to assure us that they were doing everything they could to find us the best coach possible.”
Coles was unavailable for comment on the possible candidates for the position or where the athletic department is searching for recruits from.
When the athletic department deems who is fit to coach at Ferris, he or she will become the fifth coach to lead the 14-year-old program.
Despite the lack of continuity in the head coaching department, the Bulldogs expect to improve on their 2012 finish in the GLIAC Semi-Finals against Grand Valley.
“I have confidence our team will pick up where Matt left off,” Garland said. “Our motivations and goals haven’t changed just because our coach has.”