Thursday, December 1, 2011

Women’s soccer coach resigns

Team seeks new coach with recruiting abilities

By Justin Buchanan, Sports Editor

After completing five seasons as the Pacific Lutheran women’s soccer head coach, Lynnette Buffington has resigned, effective immediately.

The Pacific Lutheran athletic department received approval from the president’s counsel this week to begin the search for a new head coach, according to Director of Athletics Laurie Turner, and hope to have someone in place by February or March.

“We want to be more competitive,” Turner said. “Right now our soccer program is in the bottom third of the conference and our goal is to move that program to the middle third.”

The announcement came as good news for some women on team.

“Her [Buffington’s] coaching style wasn’t very fitting for our team,” defender first-year Erin Nobach said. “Everyone was really excited about it.”

With the new change of head coach, Nobach is more excited about next season after this seasons difficulties.

“My mood has definitely changed since the announcement and the talk of getting a new coach,” Nobach said. “I’m definitely more excited about playing for PLU next year.”

The athletic department is searching for someone with strong recruiting abilities and able fulfill academic and administrative responsibilities.

“The name of the game at our level [Division I] is recruiting,” Turner said.

Turner also said they want a coach who understands the development of student athletes in Division III athletics.

“The big thing is they have to have an understanding of what Division III NCAA philosophy [is], and what the athletic program brings to our students,” Turner said

Defender first-year Brenna Sussman is hoping the next coach will bring deep knowledge of the game.

“Someone that we respect as a coach and we respect their knowledge,” Sussman said.

The Lutes ended this season with an overall record of 4-13-1, taking seventh place in the Northwest Conference.

Buffington’s overall record with the Lutes is 24-63-8.

Joe Jordan will take over as interim head coach and handle recruitment until a new head coach is named.