Taylor Haynes resigned his position today as the head women’s soccer coach at Nebraska Wesleyan University in order to accept a position as volunteer assistant coach in the women’s soccer program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“This is a great opportunity for Taylor to advance professionally,” Dr. Ira Zeff, NWU director of athletics, said. “I’m excited for him and wish him the best.”
“I have a lot of respect for Nebraska’s program,” Haynes said. “They have some of the best coaches anywhere, and I feel honored to have the opportunity to learn from the Huskers and contribute to their success.”
Under Haynes, Nebraska Wesleyan earned a pair of conference runner-up finishes (2003 and 2004) prior to winning the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) regular season title in 2005. In his three seasons, the NWU women finished a combined 37-15-3 overall (.700), including a mark of 25-6-2 (.788) against league foes.
“Taylor did a great job of helping us return to our position as one of the best small college women’s soccer programs in the state,” Zeff said. “He understood the strengths of each player and how to best utilize them in the team scheme. Taylor also made soccer fun for his players with his positive, relaxed approach to the game.”
Haynes helped orchestrate the biggest turnaround among NCAA Division III teams in 2003 when NWU made a nine-game improvement from the previous year. For his efforts, he was selected as the 2003 SCHEELS/GPAC Women’s Soccer Co-Coach of the Year.
“Our goal was to turn it around, and we certainly did that,” Haynes said of his team. “They embraced the tradition here at Nebraska Wesleyan, and there is a real sense of pride with these players. Their unity is truly special, but I struggle to find the words to describe the feelings I have toward them.”
“I owe them thanks for making me better as a person and a coach,” Haynes said. “It’s hard to walk away from this group, but they are prepared to repeat next season and make some noise in the national tournament.”
According to Zeff, Nebraska Wesleyan’s search for a new head coach is underway.