Courtesy MUNCIE, Ind. - Craig Roberts, who spent the past four seasons as the head coach at Tennessee Martin, has been named the fourth head coach in Ball State soccer history, director of athletics Tom Collins announced Wednesday.
"We are excited to have Craig Roberts join our staff at Ball State University," Collins said. "He comes from a diverse background and brings a wealth of coaching experience as both a head coach and an assistant coach. We believe he has everything necessary to have success in the Mid-American Conference. We look forward to welcoming him to the Ball State family."
Roberts, a native of Kidderminster, England, takes over in Muncie after turning in the most successful stint in UTM soccer history in just four seasons, including the program's first ever Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship last fall. Over the past three seasons he has tallied 29 victories for the Skyhawks, which matches the combined number of wins for the program's previous seven seasons. He owns the top three marks for wins in a season, including the program's first ever 10-win seasons (2007 & 2008).
"I would like to thank Tom Collins and his administrative staff for this opportunity," Roberts said. "Ball State is committed to developing first class student-athletes and I'm honored to be part of such an outstanding institution. Although I leave behind a set of special young individuals at UTM who will always be important to me, I look forward to the new challenges and experiences ahead."
Under Roberts' guidance last season, UT Martin picked up its first OVC title with a 9-7-0 overall record and a 6-2-0 mark in league play, marking the program's most conference wins in a single season. The Skyhawks finished the season 39th in NCAA Division I in shutout percentage as they posted eight on the season and only allowed 13 goals in 16 games.
In 2008, Roberts posted his second straight 10-win season as UTM finished the year 10-5-4 overall and advanced to the program's first ever OVC Tournament Championship game appearance. His team finished 21st in NCAA Division I in goals against average at 0.65. In 2007, Roberts led UTM to the 16th most improved team in NCAA Division I as the Skyhawks posted a 10-6-3 record, doubling their win total in just his second season.
During his time at UT Martin, Roberts has compiled a 34-27-12 record, including a 19-3-1 mark over the past three seasons at home. Under his tutelage the Skyhawks have had five First Team All-OVC players, five All-OVC Newcomer players, nine OVC All-Tournament players, 16 OVC Players of the Week, 41 players on the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll and three players who received an OVC Medal of Honor (4.0 G.P.A.).
Prior to UT Martin, Roberts spent two seasons as an associate head men's coach at Virginia Military Institute. He helped VMI to the 16th most improved Division I program in the nation in 2005 as it earned its first winning season in 16 years. He was nominated for the prestigious National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) assistant coach of the year award for his work with the Keydets.
Prior to VMI, Roberts was an assistant at Saint Mary's College of California where he helped the Gaels to a No. 24 ranking in the nation during his time. He began his collegiate coaching career at Park University (Mo.) where he was an assistant men's and women's coach for both teams ranked in the top 10 nationally in NAIA.
Roberts was a four-year starter and captain at Park for the nationally ranked Pirates. He received all-region accolades for his performance in the 1992 season. He received his bachelor's degree in education with a concentration in athletic training and biology from Park in 1997 and his master's degree in education from Park in 2003. He is currently pursuing a master's of kinesiology from Saint Mary's.
Roberts participated in national schoolboy team tryouts in England at an early age and went on to obtain semi-professional and professional playing experiences with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Oxford United, Kidderminster Harriers and Worcester City.
Roberts holds his United States Soccer Federation (USSF) ‘A' License, NSCAA Premier License, NSCAA Goalkeeper Diploma, USSF Youth Specialist License and his English Football Association Coaching License.