AKRON, Ohio – Vernon Croft has been named women's soccer head coach at The University of Akron, Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill announced on Wednesday. Croft was named the program's interim head coach in June. His appointment is pending approval from the University's Board of Trustees.
"We are pleased with how Vernon led our women's soccer team during the previous five months," Wistrcill said. "Being named interim coach close to the start of the season presented many challenges. We were impressed with his ability to not only work through those situations but also advance our program in many aspects.
"Vernon has a considerable amount of head coaching experience that will pay off as he has more time to put his mark on the program. He already has developed a good rapport with our student-athletes as well as the campus and local soccer community."
Croft, who was hired as the program's assistant coach in February under former head coach Chris Pfau, guided the Zips to 6-11-1 overall record in 2012 as UA tied the school record for most points in a single season and set the program mark for most assists. Earlier this month, five student-athletes earned All-Mid-American Conference postseason honors, which represented the most All-MAC selections in a season in the program's history.
"I could not be more pleased to be entrusted to lead the Akron women's soccer program to the expectations of our administration, coaches and student-athletes," Croft said. "While this season had its ups and downs, the support and dedication of the University and most importantly the young women I had the chance to coach, make this opportunity for me a very special and exciting one in our pursuit of a championship."
Croft came to Northeast Ohio after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Miami (Fla.), where he was in charge of the goalkeepers and attacking players and acted as the recruiting coordinator.
In 1999, Croft started the women's soccer program at Indiana State and served as the head coach of the Sycamores for nine seasons. He remains the program's all-time wins leader and led ISU to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game in 2008. He was named MVC Coach of the Year in 2004.
While at ISU, Croft coached 15 all-conference performers, one MVC Freshman of the Year and eight MVC All-Tournament honorees. His teams also excelled in the classroom, earning NSCAA Team Academic Awards in nine-consecutive seasons.
Prior to beginning the program at Indiana State, Croft spent four years as an assistant coach at Missouri State and was the goalkeeping coach for MSU's men's team for two seasons. He has also served on the women's soccer staff at Widener University and was the graduate assistant men's soccer coach at Lynchburg College.
Croft received a bachelor's of arts from Lynchburg in 1994 and a master's of education from Widener in 1996. He holds a USSF National A License.
"I would like to thank President (Luis) Proenza, Tom Wistrcill, (senior associate athletics director and senior woman administrator) Mary Lu Gribschaw, my staff and most importantly our student-athletes for their support and belief in where this program is going," Croft said.
Courtesy of Akron Sports Information Department