By: Alexis Stallard, Editor-In-Chief
Change is underway for the Newman men’s soccer team as longtime head coach Cliff Brown was fired earlier this month.
Athletic Director Joanna Pryor said that the team needed new leadership, which is why Brown was fired. Brown, who had been head of the team for 35 seasons, declined to comment.
Assistant coach Victor Olorunfemi has taken on some of the head coach duties while Newman begins the search for a new head coach. The men’s team is not in its season but is still practicing and conditioning for next fall.
Brown’s firing comes after the October death of Newman soccer player Austin Madubuike, a 21-year-old junior who was traveling home from games in Arkansas with the team when he suffered a seizure on the bus and was taken to a hospital in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. He was in the intensive care unit until his death about a week later.
The firing was unrelated to the incident, Pryor said.
The chance for the team to start anew is exciting, and a new coach could help open options in the future, she said.
Applications for the head coach position opened on Feb. 14 and closed on Tuesday. Pryor said that Newman received more than 20 applications and would begin the interview process by the end of February. She hopes to have a new coach hired before the end of March.
“I’ve communicated with the team and everyone to be patient because what we want to do is bring the best person and the best fit for Newman,” she said.
PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Unsplash