After starting two programs and 12 seasons coaching University of Minnesota, Morris soccer teams, Cougar men's head coach Christian DeVries announced he is stepping down to take the head coaching position for women's soccer at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. He leaves the Morris campus with a career record of 123-106-14.
DeVries came to Morris in 1998 to start the women's soccer program and quickly established them as a formidable competitor in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and then in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC).
The women also earned notice for scholastic team achievements, including the highest team grade point average in NCAA division II in 2002.
In 2006, DeVries switched to men's soccer with the same challenge of starting the program from scratch. In just one year, he helped improve a 3-11-4 record into a 15-4-2, a turnaround that was the best in the country in 2007.
On the field, DeVries' teams have produced two National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) all-region players, 17 NSCAA regional scholar-athletes, 64 all-conference players, five UMAC players of the year, and two UMAC tournament most valuable players.
In 2007, DeVries was named UMAC coach of the year and during his tenure his teams won two conference championships, and four UMAC tournament championships.
DeVries characterizes the move as bittersweet.
"I'm going to miss the unique environment of UMM, dealing with just undergraduates and faculty who understand undergraduate education. You don't see that everywhere..."
"Thanks to the opportunity and trust of the athletic department at UMM, I gained a lot of confidence in my ability to coach. I came in with a little head coaching experience, but I gained so much more here in learning what it takes to run an intercollegiate program where the focus is on the student-athlete..."
"It's a new challenge and it's the opportunity to build another program."