New coaches in place for soccer and wrestling at Minot State University
In line with Minot State Universityís transition to National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II, two new coaches are onboard to lead new teams, wrestling and womenís soccer.
MSU Athletics Director Rick Hedberg announced today the hiring of Robin Ersland, from the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, to re-establish the wrestling program and Jason Spain, from Yuba College, Calif. to begin the new womenís soccer program.
For the past 15 years, Ersland has been the head wrestling coach and strength coordinator for the UCM Mules. While there, he was responsible for all aspects of the Division II program including initiating a wrestling hall of fame, leading 10 teams to top-20 national team finishes and coaching 30 All-Americans, including one individual national champion. During his almost 30 years of coaching, Ersland has participated at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels. Ersland also served as a coach on various national and international teams. Hedberg says the Minot State Athletics Department is fortunate to receive a coach of this caliber to reinstitute wrestling.
"Robin will do a great job of building our wrestling program," Hedberg said. "He has more than 15 years of NCAA Division II head coaching experience, and heís been successful at the DII level. Robin is well connected in the wrestling community, and I look forward to working with him."
Leading the new womenís soccer team into its first year at Minot State will be Jason Spain, current head coach for Feather River College, Quincy, Calif. Spain spent the past 12 seasons as the head coach for a neighboring California college, Yuba College, before taking over at Feather River this year. At Yuba, Spain started the womenís program and brought it up to the Number 1 ranked junior college in America in 2006. More than 100 student athletes under Spainís tutelage moved on to earn athletic scholarships playing at the NAIA, NCAA I or II levels. Along with being the head coach for the Yuba College womenís and menís teams, Spain also spent 12 years as the head girlís soccer coach for a California high school team and 10 years serving as the director of the Azzurri Soccer Club. In Spainís 10 years managing the Azzurri Soccer Club, the program grew from four to 25 teams.
Hedberg feels Spainís experience starting soccer programs at all levels of competition will be a perfect fit for Minot State and the region.
"Weíre very excited to have Jason coming on board to lead our womenís soccer program," Hedberg said. "Jason has been successful with every program he has directed at the high school and college level. He is well connected within the soccer community, and he will be a nice addition to our staff."
Both Ersland and Spain have experience as instructors within their respective university and college. In the upcoming months, both coaches will start to recruit student athletes and begin to set a schedule for play to begin in both programs starting fall of 2010.