A woman with a strong NCAA Division III background as both a player and a coach is getting the opportunity to lead the improving Knox College Prairie Fire womenâ€™s soccer program.
Melissa Joseph has accepted the position of womenâ€™s soccer coach an she will also serve as Director of the E. & L. Andrew Fitness Center.Â She replaces Nikki Ayers, who stepped down in November to take a job outside of athletics in Arizona after guiding the Prairie Fire for the past four years.
The Fire womenâ€™s soccer team finished the 2010 season with seven wins, including four shutouts.Â Two of the shutouts were against Midwest Conference foes Illinois College and Beloit College.Â The seven victories are the most for the program since 1996.
â€œThe experience M.J. brings to our staff is something Iâ€™m very excited about,â€ said Knox College athletic director Chad Eisele.
Joseph spent the past four years as the head womenâ€™s soccer coach at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio.Â Before arriving at Mount Union, Joseph was the head womenâ€™s soccer coach for five years at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania.Â She led that program to 49 wins, including new single-season marks for victories in 2003 and 2004.
Joseph doesnâ€™t believe the transition to Knox College will be a difficult one. â€œI have had the privilege of coaching for a few colleges, all of which are very similar to Knox.â€