FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Erin Aubry has been named the new head soccer coach at the University of Arkansas, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long announced Tuesday.
Aubry has served as the head coach at Morehead State for the past four seasons. In 2008, she led the Eagles to the program’s first Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) title and its first NCAA Tournament appearance. In 2006, Aubry was named the OVC Coach of the Year. A former standout player at Northwestern University, Aubry was an assistant coach at Auburn and Ole Miss before being named head coach at Morehead State in March 2005.
"We are excited to announce Erin Aubry as the new head coach of the Razorback soccer program," Long said. "Erin’s experiences as a student-athlete, an assistant coach at two Southeastern Conference institutions and most importantly her experience in building a conference championship program made her stand out. We believe she has the qualities and characteristics needed to move our program forward competitively and to make a positive impact on the young women in our program."
Aubry is the seventh head coach in school history and will inherit a Razorback team that finished 11-8 last season, after a school-record 9-1 start. Arkansas hasn’t advanced to the SEC Tournament since 2000.
"It is an honor to be named the head coach of the soccer program at the University of Arkansas," Aubry said. "I am excited about the opportunity to return to the Southeastern Conference as the head coach of a promising program at an outstanding institution. I would like to thank Jeff Long and the University of Arkansas for giving me this tremendous opportunity.
"Our goal from day one will be to build a program that is successful in developing student-athletes in the classroom and on the soccer field. We will work towards returning the Razorbacks to the SEC Tournament and competing in the NCAA Tournament. I am looking forward to working with our staff and our student-athletes to accomplish those goals."
Aubry recently completed her fourth season as head coach at Morehead State. The Eagles finished the 2008 season with a 9-9-3 record, including 4-2-2 mark in conference play. MSU won the first OVC championship in its history with a 1-0 win over Tennessee-Martin in the conference tournament. A school-record four MSU players earned all-tournament honors, including goalkeeper Lily Meisner who was named most valuable player of the OVC Tournament. Freshman Jillian Birchmeier made history by becoming the first OVC player to earn freshman player of the year and offensive player of the year honors in the same season.
The Eagles earned the first NCAA Tournament berth in the program’s history. MSU lost a 2-0 decision to Wake Forest on the Demon Deacons’ home field in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Aubry began the task of reviving the Eagles’ program when she arrived in 2005. MSU posted six wins in a 6-11-2 campaign in her first season.
The vast improvement was noticeable in her second season at MSU as the Eagles posted an 8-8-3 record, including 5-1-3 in OVC play. MSU finished second in the conference, the highest finish in school history at the time and advanced to the championship game of the OVC tournament. Three MSU student-athletes were named all-conference including the 2006 OVC Defensive Player of the Year. The Eagles also earned distinction for their work in the classroom as the soccer team earned a MSU team academic award.
In 2007, MSU once again qualified for the OVC Tournament and finished the season with a 5-10-1 record, including 4-4-1 in conference play. The 2007 squad was the recipient of a NSCAA team academic award as well as a team community service award.
Prior to her stint at Morehead State, Aubry was an assistant coach for three seasons (2002-04) at Ole Miss. Ole Miss advanced to three-straight SEC Tournaments and two NCAA Tournaments during Aubry’s tenure. The appearances marked the first NCAA berths in school history and resulted in the first NCAA Tournament win in Rebels’ history in 2003.
Aubry was an assistant coach at Auburn University for two seasons from 1999-2000. While at Auburn, Aubry had responsibilities for recruiting, field training, individual training and academic mentoring. She was also the camp director for the Auburn soccer camp in 1999. The Tigers posted a 13-7 record in Aubry’s final season with the program.
Aubry began her coaching career as a coach in training on the Region II staff in 1996 and 1998 as part of the Olympic Development Program (ODP). She was a state coach for Alabama ODP in 1999 and 2004. Aubry was a coach for the Region II ‘92/93 Girls’ team in the summer of 2006.
Prior to her coaching career, Aubry had a successful playing career at Northwestern University. As a member of a first-year program in 1994, the midfielder helped the Wildcats advance to four Big Ten Tournaments and two NCAA Tournaments (1996, 1998) during her career. She was co-captain of the 1998 Northwestern squad that posted a 16-5-1 mark and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before falling 1-0 to eventual national champion Florida. In her senior season (1998), Aubry was selected as the recipient of the Coach’s Award for outstanding leadership.
Aubry received her bachelor’s of science degree in communication studies from Northwestern in 1998. She is married to Kris Grunwald, an assistant volleyball coach at the University of Arkansas.