Story by Gage Johnson, Staff Writer
Following the departure of Jeremy Groves, Murray State has announced former assistant coach Matt Lodge will take over the head coaching role for women’s soccer.
Lodge joined Groves’ staff four seasons ago and was a crucial pillar to the program’s success. Director of Athletics Allen Ward was well aware of this and jumped at the chance to put Lodge at the helm.
“This decision was really a no-brainer,” Ward said. “Alongside Coach Groves, Matt has been instrumental in building our women’s soccer program into one of the finest in the nation. He’s an outstanding coach and an excellent recruiter. He has earned the opportunity to lead this team and his promotion will be well received by the three-time defending conference champions.”
Ward wasn’t sure if he would even have the chance to let Lodge follow in Groves’ footsteps as the head coach at Murray State.
“I was afraid I might lose Matt this off-season to another program, but thankfully, it worked out to Murray State’s advantage,” Ward said. “We’ve got something really special happening with our women’s soccer program and I’m excited to know that a change in leadership won’t disrupt that at all. The future was extremely bright with Coach Groves and it’s no different with Coach Lodge at the helm.”
During Lodge’s tenure as an assistant coach, the Racers own an overall record of 50-21-6, while holding onto a conference record of 32-3-5. Along with that conference record, they have gone three straight years without losing in conference play during the regular season, while winning three regular season OVC titles, two OVC tournament championships and earning two trips to the NCAA tournament.
Lodge already has the players right behind him before the season has even gone underway. Former MSU soccer player Destiny White (2014-2017) expects to see the same level of excellence from her former team with their new head coach.
g”I was excited to hear that Lodge was going to be named head coach,” White said. He has been a huge impact to this team and is part of the reason this program has been such a success. He was there when we broke records and went unbeaten, he knows the culture and what it takes to be successful. It’s going to be an easy transition for the girls, as they are comfortable with him and respect him. There is no doubt in my mind that they will win another championship with Lodge as their head coach. It’s going to be another unbelievable season.”
As the team prepares for next season, the excitement within the program is still there, and Lodge and his Racers will look to pick up where they left off.