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Coaching Feb 10, 2012

Maryland promotes Jonathan Morgan to head women’s soccer coach

By Charles Boehm

[Editor’s Note: We caught up with Morgan mid-day today and published this in-depth Q&A around 5 p.m.]

After considering several candidates from further afield, the University of Maryland has decided to stay close to home with the choice of its new women’s soccer coach, elevating assistant Jonathan Morgan to replace departed boss Brian Pensky.

“This program has had a history of great coaches and I am honored to be selected as Maryland’s next head coach,” said Morgan in a press release on Friday. “I look forward to building upon the excellence and tradition that has been established. We have an outstanding group of student-athletes here and I’m so excited about the opportunity to lead them in accomplishing the academic and athletic goals they came to the University of Maryland to achieve.

“The continuity of our staff and our players continued commitment to being great will allow Maryland women’s soccer to continue to move forward in its pursuit of reaching excellence in women’s college soccer.”

Morgan’s selection maintains continuity at the ascendant program and represents welcome news for many Terrapins players, who apparently spoke up on behalf of the current staff as the university conducted its search for Pensky’s replacement.

After spending more than a decade in College Park, first as an assistant men’s soccer coach and then as the leader of the increasingly successful Terps women, Pensky moved to Knoxville, Tenn. late last month to take over the women’s soccer program at the University of Tennessee. The former Bullis School and George Washington University coach led Maryland to a 44-14-9 record over the past three seasons, which rank among the best in the program’s history.

Maryland is rumored to have interviewed several prominent head coaches for the vacancy, including the likes of Cincinnati coach and UMd alumna Michelle Salmon. But Morgan’s five years of service, along with strong recommendations from players as well as fellow assistant Laurie George, have convinced the athletic department to maintain stability and promote from within.

“Coach Morgan is an experienced and successful coach who has helped elevate this program to among the nation’s elite over the past five seasons,” said UMd Athletics Director Kevin Anderson in a press release. “His passion for this University, this program and its student-athletes was evident and made him the clear choice to lead Maryland women’s soccer.”