Fall 2019 saw new faces coaching in multiple sports for SVSU. Ryan Brady took over football, Jennifer Pruett women’s basketball and Louis Barrow men’s soccer team.
Behind Pruett, women’s basketball team is off to a 7-7 start. Every game this season has been close, with the average score differential of three points.
Pruett said she looked forward to her first game as head coach.
“The most exciting moment of the season so far was winning our first game against a team that had beat us by double digits the previous season,” she said. “It was really great to see all of our hard work paid off.”
Pruett said the close losses have been learning experiences for her and the team.
“We’ve lost a few close games, so the biggest struggle has been proving to the girls that these close games, although they are tough to swallow, are building character in each of us,” Pruett said.
Pruett will be continuing GLIAC conference play Jan. 16 when the team plays against Davenport.
Men’s soccer also had an successful season under new coach Barrow. SVSU ended 13-6-1 in the regular season, with a 10-4 record in GLIAC play, both of which were improvements from last season.
Barrow coached the team to the number two seed in the GLIAC tournament, which included a first-round bye. SVSU made it to the GLIAC Championship game against Parkside, where the team’s successful season came to an end with a 2-1 loss. Barrow said he was proud of the team’s success.
“The season went well, as expected,” he said. “13-6-1 is no poor record, but we can definitely do better come next fall.”
Barrow had a strong season of coaching, as many of his players ranked in the top five in various statistics, including coaching the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Year.
Barrow said he was happy with the team’s success, despite starting the season with a few concerns.
“We did very well. I think with being a 24- to 25-year-old coach, many other coaches and programs had us down to be very beatable this year,” Barrow said.
Brady, the football coach, rounds out the new coaches for the year. While the season did not end the way he expected, he still wants success in the standings over individual success.
“The season did not go as expected,” he said. “The team’s expectations were to win a GLIAC Championship and make the NCAA Playoffs.”
Brady said preparing the team for the season on short notice was a major obstacle last season.
“My staff and I arrived at the end of March,” he said. “We had three days to prepare for spring practice.”
SVSU went 5-6 with a 3-5 record in GLIAC play during Brady’s first season. Even with the struggles the team faced, Brady still coached a strong team with a lot of talent that can return next season.
Brady said he was “extremely excited” for his second season as coach.
“We have made a ton of progress in a very short amount of time in so many different areas,” he said. “And again, that wouldn’t be possible without the help of everyone on campus.”
While Brady and Barrow need to wait until next season to continue their coaching, Pruett’s first season continues Jan. 16 and into March as she looks to build upon her early success.