Alma, Mich. - Head Men's Soccer Coach Josh Oakley has resigned from his position effective immediately to assume the same position at Spring Arbor University, as announced by Director of Athletics Steven Rackley on Monday (Feb. 11).
"I want to personally thank Josh for all he's done for his program and Alma College," said Rackley. "We will miss his leadership, camaraderie and friendship. Josh is a great coach and a better person."
"Nearly nine years ago, John Leister hired me to revitalize the men's soccer program and I'm forever thankful he did," said Oakley. "I emptied myself here and worked as hard as I possibly could to bring positive results. We achieved a great many things; achievements that would not be possible without sound leadership. I'm so grateful for the support that President Abernathy has shown for me here. I am also blown away by the number of quality relationships I've made at Alma, mostly within the walls of the athletic department. These coaches and staff are some of my favorite people.
"Apart from support, leadership and friendships, the single most impactful thing I've witnessed here is a bond with young men that will last a lifetime. These players, all of the players past and present that allowed me to coach, teach, mentor and help direct them through their college years will never truly know the affinity that I have for them now and forever.
"I'm leaving behind something I love and cherish very much, but I'm walking towards something that is undeniably pulling me in its perfect direction. I wish Steven Rackley and the entire athletic department and Alma College nothing but the absolute best."
Oakley coached the men's soccer program from 2010 to 2019. During his eight years, he compiled a record of 63-75-13, including the program's two most successful seasons in nearly two decades in 2015 and 2016. The 2015 season saw the Scots win 12 games and make the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championship game for the first time in history. The team built on that success the next year, posting 14 wins — the most since the 1999 Final Four team — and making it to its second straight MIAA championship game in 2016. That year, Alma reached the ninth spot in the NCAA Central Rankings, the highest it had been in 15 years. Also in 2016, Alma went 8-1-1 at Scotland Yard, the program's best home record since the venue opened in 2002. It finished that year ranked fifth in Division III in save percentage and sixth in shutout percentage.
Oakley coached 12 All-Conference players while at Alma, including six players who were named to either the All-Conference First or Second Team more than once. Kyle Kansman, the only two-time All-MIAA First-Team player from Alma this decade, was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Central Region Third-Team in 2015 and the NSCAA All-Central Region Second-Team in 2016. That was the third straight year a Scot was named to the NSCAA All-Region team, as defender Trae Pitts earned Second-Team honors in 2014, the first time in a decade. Kansman also earned a spot on the NSCAA Scholar All-American Team in 2016.
The search for Oakley's replacement will begin immediately. Assistant Coach Spencer Sandow has been named the interim head coach until a replacement has been named.