The Drew Roff reign has come to an end for the Illinois State soccer program.
Following the most successful season in ISU history, Roff accepted the vacant head coaching position at Purdue University effective on Dec. 27, 2014.
An Ann Arbor, Mich. native, Roff played collegiately at Michigan State where he was a four-year starting forward. He received All-Big Ten and All-America honors in 1994 where he led the team with 22 points on six goals and 10 assists. Roff earned a bachelors degree in physical education and exercise science in 1996.
Prior his tenure at ISU, Roff was the head coach at the University of Indianapolis where in just two years he turned the program in a 360-degree turn. After several consecutive losing seasons, Roff led the Greyhouds to a .500 record in his first season. In just his second year, Indianapolis went 17-5-1, setting the school record for wins in a single season along with qualifying for the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Taking over the ISU program in 2007, Roff built up a soccer dynasty. He led the Redbirds to six Missouri Valley Conference regular season titles (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014), five MVC Tournament titles (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) as well as five NCAA Tournament appearances. In Roffs eight years at the helm, 24 ISU players have received All-MVC First Team honors, along with Valley Players of the Year Yvonne Northover (2007) and four time Player of the Year, Rachel Tejada (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). Roffs coaching staff has also been named MVC Coaching Staff of the Year five times (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014).
Drew has done a lot for this program, assistant coach Katie Baumgardner told the Vidette in an interview earlier this year. Drew helped set up this seasons schedule, were on slate to play top universities around the nation. As a previous graduate assistant coach, I was able to see the players he brought to this team.
Roffs most successful season came this past fall 2014 in which he led ISU to record-breaking success. This past falls team set the program record for single season wins with 16 along with a perfect 8-0 record against MVC opponents for the second straight season.
With Roff, ISU also played several Top 25 vote getter schools at the beginning of the season, which included a road trip to No.2 Texas A&M. ISU also captured its fourth consecutive MVC Tournament Championship securing them a bid in the NCAA Tournament. The Redbirds headed to South Florida where they defeated the Bulls in regulation to advance to the round of 32 for the second consecutive year.
I want to thank Drew for his belief in me. He built up such a great group of girls on this team, Sophomore Sara Stankoskey said.
ISU Athletic Director Larry Lyons was fully aware of Roffs off-season plans.
Drew was very honest with us, Lyons told the Pantagraph. We said, Drew, if you are going to go, go to a place thats a good fit for you. We care about you as a person. Make sure its a good fit.
According to Purdue, Roff was selected among a pool of about 50 candidates and four finalists. The finalists were not specifically announced by Purude, but it was stated that the final panel included three head coaches and an associate head coach.
Purdue receives a head coach who built ISU into a dominant program in the Midwest. Under Roffs leadership, ISU soccer has been brought to national prominence and relevancy.
"We had no shortage of strong candidates for this position, and Drew emerged from an attractive pool," Purdue director of athletics Morgan Burke said. "He has been there, done that as a successful coach and student-athlete, with a history of winning championships. His plan to return our women's soccer program to prominence within the Big Ten and nationally is sound. Ed Howat and our search team were thorough in their selection and made an outstanding choice."
Roff completes his reign at ISU with a 98-50-11 (.662) record and a 38-7-3 (.844) record in MVC contests. Roffs career record is 124-64-12 (.660).
Drew is clearly a strong proponent of the complete student-athlete experience. His teams have excelled on the field and in the classroom., Purdue Associate Athletics Communications Director Ben Turner said. Drews familiarity with the Big Ten, state of Indiana and Midwest based on his time at Michigan State, Indianpolis and Illinois State were all positives when he was considered.
Without Drew, none of this would even possible. I wouldnt be in the position I am today nor would the ISU soccer program, Baumgardner said. Hes done so much for me, so much for this program. Drew has raised this program from the ground up. ISU wasnt really talked about before. Under Drews guidance, ISU soccer has become a nationally recognized program.
The Vidette requested a public records request to Purdue University and expects to receive exact details on Roffs contract by Jan. 9, 2015. ISU Athletics has not yet released a statement about Purdues hiring of Roff or the future of the current coaching staff and vacant head coaching position.