Texas A&M Hires New Soccer Coach
TEXARKANA, Texas – On the heels of an impressive 10-2-3 first season, Texas A&M University-Texarkana announced today the hiring of Don Koontz as its new head women’s soccer coach. Koontz replaces Steve Golas who left in May to become assistant women’s soccer coach at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.
Koontz comes to A&M-Texarkana from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, where he served as head women’s soccer coach and assistant director of recreational sports. While at Sul Ross, he also served as an assistant cross country and track coach, training the distance and middle-distance runners.
From 2010-13, Koontz served as head soccer coach at the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, New Mexico, where he rebuilt the soccer program and reached the semifinals of the Red River Athletic Conference championships for the first time since 2006 for the women and 2005 for the men. During the 2012 and 2013 seasons at Southwest, he had 38 academic all-conference players, four National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Scholar Athletes and six Red River Athletic Conference All-Conference Team members.
Koontz grew up just north of Houston in Conroe, Texas, where he excelled in soccer and track and field at Conroe High School, ranking among the top 10 runners nationally at 800 meters and in the mile.
He received a track and field scholarship to Texas Tech University, where he was a two-time All-Southwest Conference 800-meter runner and member of the Texas Tech men’s soccer team that won the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association National Championship in 1997.
After his time at Texas Tech, Koontz played for the semi-professional Lubbock Lazers and Lubbock Sanddevils. He went on to play for various Premier Development League and United Soccer League teams, most notably the Arizona Sahuaros, where he helped the team win the National Premier Soccer League championship in 2003 and finish as runner-up in 2004.
After his playing career, Koontz began coaching club soccer and working on his U.S. Soccer Federation licenses. He earned the A license in 2008 and became the director of coaching for the South Caprock Blitz and the Lubbock Lonestar Soccer Club, where his teams competed in the Dallas Classic and Lake Highlands League respectively. He coached five years with the New Mexico and Region IV Olympic Development Programs and two seasons with the Premier Arena Soccer League’s Lonestar semipro indoor soccer team.
Koontz, who is a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, earned his master’s degree in kinesiology from Sul Ross State University and a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Texas Tech University.
A&M-Texarkana Athletics Director Michael Galvan said the university is thrilled to have Koontz joining the Eagles coaching staff.
“Don has been a head soccer coach, has started a soccer program, and has recruiting ties throughout Texas and the Southwest region,” Galvan said. “I believe he will be a trailblazer for our women’s soccer program.”
Dr. Emily Cutrer, president of A&M-Texarkana, said students, faculty, staff and the community are ready for all of the university’s student athletes to arrive on campus and begin practice.
“We are delighted to have someone with Coach Koontz’s experience join the A&M-Texarkana community,” Dr. Cutrer said. “We hope the entire region will join us for what promises to be an exciting season of women’s soccer and an exciting year of sports at the university.”
Koontz said he is excited to get in on the ground floor of the growing athletic program at A&M-Texarkana.
“Texarkana already feels like home to me. We’re in an excellent position to recruit great soccer players from throughout Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and other areas in the nation, and I plan to reach out to every single one of them.”