WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The Maranatha Athletic Department has named Coach Jeff Pill as the interim head coach for Sabercats Women's Soccer, with Matt Sheeley filling the role of associate head coach for the 2019 season.
Pill will remain as the head coach of the men, serving a dual purpose common to schools of Maranatha's size. Sheeley will be responsible for overseeing the bulk of the training, planning, and day-to-day work that typically falls to the head coach.
Four-year Sabercat Alyssa Wright will be stepping in to fill the role of Assistant Coach. Wright finished her four-year career in the 2018 season and has the unique perspective of coaching some of the student-athletes that she played with.
For Pill, the situation is the exact same as when he was hired in 2008 as the Director of Soccer Operations.
"We are excited for the women’s soccer program to be under the leadership of Coach Jeff Pill," said Rob Thompson, Maranatha's Athletic Director. "His experience with U.S. Women’s Soccer and 12 years at MBU will provide great mentoring to a young supporting coaching staff.
"Matt Sheeley will bring playing experience (under Coach Pill) to his coaching opportunity, and Alyssa's experience and energy will be beneficial as we continue to build the MBU women’s program"
Jeff Pill Review
Pill is an elite coach in the women's game. Before coming to Maranatha, he served as a Women's National Staff Coach for U.S. Soccer and an assistant coach for the Under-19 Women's National Team, holding an international record of 11-0-1.
At the youth level, Pill has coached some 20 players that have gone on to represent the United States Women's National Team - a team that recently won their second consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup. Some of the players Pill has coached at the youth levels include Becky Sauerbrunn, Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle, Crystal Dunn, Sam Mewis, Alyssa Naeher, Megan Rapinoe, and Ali Krieger.
"I'm really excited for this opportunity for [Matt] Sheeley," Pill said. "He has been involved in the men's program for five years now as a player and as a coach, so he knows the culture we are trying to refine at MBU. I think he's a good fit for continuing the outstanding work that Dave Anderson started."
As a recent graduate of MBU, Sheeley began coaching right away after finishing his career as a student-athlete in 2017. Sheeley filled the role of part-time assistant for the Sabercats Men's Team in 2018 while assisting for the Maranatha Baptist Academy Boys Team.
As a student-athlete, Sheeley developed from a Junior-Varsity player into a First-Team regular by the end of his senior season. Sheeley made 40 appearances for the Blue and Gold while registering a goal and two assists, playing primarily as a wide player with secondary duties at center-midfielder.
"I'm looking forward to teaming up with Coach Pill to continue the program's momentum," Sheeley said. "Continuing to learn under him will really be valuable for me, and it's a unique opportunity for the team. Ultimately, the coaching staff is interested in moving the program forward."
For the latest schedule for the 2019 season, CLICK HERE