After a frustrating season that “took an emotional toll on everyone,” Eastern Washington University women’s soccer coach George Hageage resigned Monday.
One day after a season-ending loss to Northern Arizona that left the Eagles 3-15 overall and 1-8 in the Big Sky Conference, Hageage announced that he would step down after 14 years in Cheney.
The longest-tenured women’s soccer coach in the conference, Hageage was Big Sky Coach of the Year in 2004, produced 85 all-conference players and saw the program win 12 NSCAA Team Academic Awards.
Assistant coach Julio Morales will lead the program on an interim basis while a national coaching search is conducted, said Eastern athletic director Bill Chaves, who added that while he appreciated the “tremendous amount of passion and energy George has put into the program,” he also was disappointed in the final result.
“At the end of the day, there are some things that need to occur at the Division I level,” said Chaves, who added that it was Hageage’s decision to resign.
“We appreciate coach Hageage’s 14 years of service to our women’s soccer program, the university and the greater Spokane community,” Chaves said.
The season was especially frustrating, the 47-year-old Hageage said, because “you’re setting kids up in the right spots … you’re sitting and watching and asking yourself: ‘Is there something we can do better?’ ”
The most telling statistic: a conference-low four goals scored in nine conference matches; that came despite 148 shots, which was third in the Big Sky. The Eagles’ 3 percent shooting average also was the lowest in the conference.
The Eagles should put together a solid core of experienced players for 2014, headlined by the program’s all-time leading scorer in junior Cassie Black.