I was sort of expecting this. The past two years have been, well, pretty awful for USI women’s soccer — an 8-20-6 record, to be exact — after once being a program that had the potential to go deep into the NCAA Division II Tournament. Now it struggles just to have a shot at getting into the GLVC Tournament. Granted, the league is much bigger now, with 16 schools. But with all the female soccer talent around Southwestern Indiana and Western Kentucky and Southern Illinois, the Eagles should be extremely competitive every year.
Her last winning season was 2013, when USI finished 9-7-1. Her best season came in 2010, when the Eagles finished 12-6-1 and fourth in the GLVC. That’s not an overwhelming record of success. But women’s soccer at USI has been underwhelming for a long time, so it’s not completely her fault. Since 2000, when the Eagles finished 13-5-1, the team had just one winning season (2005) until 2009’s 9-8-3 record.
Eric Schoenstein, Engelbrecht’s assistant coach the past two seasons, has been named interim head coach. I would not be surprised if the interim tag is removed at some future date despite USI’s saying there will be a national search for a new coach. Schoenstein has coached girls’ and women’s soccer for years here in Evansville, at the high school and travel levels. Maybe it’s time to give him a shot at leading a college team.
From a reporter’s standpoint, Krissy Engelbrecht has always been available to answer any and all questions (as has every single USI coach I’ve ever dealt with, which is unprecedented in my 35 years in the newspaper business). She was always cooperative, always gracious. I know readers may not care about stuff like that, but, believe me, it influences the stories that reporters write and that, in turn, affects the information that fans of sports teams receive. I sincerely hope she succeeds in whatever she decides to pursue from now on.
That said, here’s the official news release from USI:
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Athletics announced the resignation of Women’s Soccer Head Coach Krissy Engelbrecht. Engelbrecht steps down after 13 seasons at the helm, posting a record of 94-119-19.
“I have enjoyed my 13 years here and it’s been a great experience,” said Engelbrecht. “At this time it is best for my family, especially my children, and this program if I step away and let somebody else take over.”
“USI is an amazing place and the USI Women’s Soccer team has an amazing future and I am excited to see what lies ahead of them,” continued Engelbrecht. “I think they can go on to win a conference championship in the immediate future and want nothing but the best for all of them. However, I truly feel it is best for them and my family for me to step down.”
Assistant Coach Eric Schoenstein will serve as the interim-head coach while USI conducts a national search. “USI will begin the search immediately,” said USI Director of Athletics Jon Mark Hall. “We will work diligently to find the best person to lead the young women of this program.
“The University greatly appreciates what Coach Engelbrecht has done during her tenure at USI,” continued Hall. “She is a first-class individual who has always represented the University well.”
During the 13 seasons, Engelbrecht led the Screaming Eagles to five winning records and five trips to the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament. The 2010 season was Engelbrecht’s best with the Eagles posting a 12-6-1 overall mark and a fourth-place finish in the GLVC.
The Eagles were 5-10-2 overall, 4-10-1 in the GLVC, during the 2015 campaign.