Ohiobobcats.com takes a look back at the last week of Ohio Athletics
Aaron Rodgers begins his second season as the head coach of the Ohio University soccer program in 2014. Director of Athletics Jim Schaus appointed Rodgers as the third head coach in school history on Dec. 22, 2012.
In Rodgers' first season at the helm, the Bobcats finished the 2013 regular season with their first non-losing record since '09 (7-7-5) and posted five road victories - the most wins away from home for the program since '04. Ohio tallied 26 goals in 2013 - the program's most in a decade. Forward Alexis Milesky earned a spot on the 2013 Mid-American Conference All-Freshman Team after starting all 20 matches and tying for the team lead in points (11) and goals (4) while tying for third on the team in assists (3). Senior Mattie Liston finished her career as Ohio's most prolific goalkeeper, departing with program standards in career games played (73), games started (71), minutes (6,670), saves (403) and shutouts (20). Her 107 saves in 2013 rank as the third-most in a single season in school history.
Ohio excelled in the classroom as well, as the squad earned the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic Award for the 2012-13 academic year by posting a 3.30 team grade point average. Senior midfielder/forward Maggie Murnane garnered Academic All-MAC recognition while junior midfielder Annie Beard, sophomore defender Grace Campbell, junior defender Gabby Hausfeld, redshirt freshman midfielder/forward Sasha Haverchak and sophomore defender/midfielder Leah Sandercock received Academic All-MAC Honorable Mention. Campbell, Hausfeld and Murnane also earned spots on the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association's Academic All-Ohio NCAA Division I Third Team.
Rodgers came to Athens after spending the previous four seasons (2009-12) at the University of Kentucky, where he helped direct the Wildcats to a 42-30-5 record.
Rodgers helped guide the Wildcats to the NCAA Championship in back-to-back seasons in 2011 and '12. The 2012 season was arguably the best in program history, as Rodgers helped UK to 14 wins and its first-ever NCAA Championship victory. The Wildcats won eight Southeastern Conference games for the first time since 1999, tying the program record for conference wins in a season. Under Rodgers' direction, UK goalkeeper Kayla King posted a 13-2-1 record in the net with a 0.71 goals against average. She earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors after posting back-to-back shutouts at Tennessee and Georgia.
Prior to the 2012 campaign, Rodgers helped the Wildcats land the sixth-ranked recruiting class in the nation, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com
Rodgers also mentored UK goalie Sydney Hiance, who posted 12 shutouts in two seasons, including seven in 2009 -- the third-most in a single season in school history. Hiance finished her career ranked second in UK history in shutouts (20), saves (283), minutes (6143:56) and fourth in goals against average (1.23).
Prior to his arrival in Lexington, Rodgers spent a year as a volunteer coach with the University of Florida, serving as the goalkeeper coach. During his time in Gainesville, the Gators captured the 2008 SEC title and reached the NCAA Sweet 16.
Rodgers' other SEC stop came in 1998 at the University of Alabama. The Crimson Tide won the SEC West Division and earned an NCAA Championship berth that season. Rodgers coached 1998 First Team All-SEC selection Rachel Brown, who is currently the goalkeeper for the England National Team.
Rodgers began his coaching career as an assistant coach for the women's team at his alma mater, the University of North Texas. After a year with the Mean Green, he spent the 1996 and '97 seasons as the University of South Alabama assistant. While at USA, the Jaguars went from a 2-17 record in 1996 to 18-3-1 in '97, marking the biggest turnaround in women's collegiate history.
Rodgers went on to accept the associate director position at the nationally prominent Cardinal Soccer Club located in Cincinnati, Ohio. He spent almost two years with the program, working with players aged seven to 20.
A volunteer coaching position for the University of North Florida for the 2001 season followed, and the Ospreys finished the campaign nationally ranked. He spent the 2005-07 seasons as an assistant coach for the Flager College men's team.
Rodgers played collegiate soccer at both Arkansas-Little Rock (1991) and North Texas (1992-93). He also played four seasons with various United Soccer League (USL) teams in the southeast, including the Texas Toros (1993-1994), Dallas Rockets (1995) and Mobile Revelers (1997).
The Ohio coaching staff is the only one in the MAC comprised entirely of former professional players, as assistant coaches Allison Whitworth (Women's Professional Soccer) and Elizabeth Woerle (Germany's Frauen Second Bundesliga) join Rodgers in bringing professional soccer experience to the table.
A University of North Texas graduate, Rodgers received his bachelor's degree in political science in 1996.
Rodgers and his wife, Mandi, have a son, Luke, and a daughter, Reese.