PULLMAN, Wash. -- Steve Nugent was named the Washington State head coach, Cougar director of athletics Bill Moos announced on Thursday.
Nugent becomes the sixth coach in program history after spending the past three seasons at North Carolina-Greensboro. His 2012 UNCG squad captured the Southern Conference regular-season title.
“I often say the hardest thing to do in our athletic programs is to sustain success once it has been achieved,” Moos said. “I am confident Steve Nugent is the ideal choice to maintain one of the premier women’s soccer programs in the Pac-12. His experience, an upgraded facility and quality student-athletes put us in a great position to meet and exceed the goals we have set.”
“A big thank you from me goes to [WSU President] Dr. Floyd, Bill Moos, [deputy athletic director] Anne McCoy and the support staff I met during my visit to Pullman,” Nugent said. “I was looking forward to the prospect of being the next head coach at Washington State and learning more about what it means to be a Cougar from those with whom I met put it over the top.”
The Cougars advanced to the NCAA championship in five of the past six seasons, including a second-round appearance in 2009 and 2011. Last season, Washington State set or tied 28 school records while finishing runner-up in the Pac-12 Conference.
Among the accomplishments were a school-record tying 14 victories (14-3-4), hosting an NCAA postseason match for the first time since 2000, five all-conference honors, four all-region awards and one All-America selection.
A 1996 graduate of Florida Atlantic, Nugent was a volunteer assistant at Lynn and helped the Fighting Panthers capture 1994 and 1995 NAIA national championships and a runner-up finish in the 1996 NCAA Division II Championship.
He has been an assistant coach at Rice (2001) and Georgia ('08-11) prior to becoming the UNCG head coach. The Bulldogs reached the NCAA postseason in 2008 and 2009. In addition, he won 15 state championships and mentored nine full national team players during his time as a club coach (1989-2000, 2002-08).