Claire Ballor, Staff Writer
The head coach of the women’s soccer team, Kristina Corona, recently announced her resignation, effective March 8. After taking her leave of the University of Dallas, Corona will head north to pursue another coaching position at Austin College, one of UD’s major athletic rivals.
Corona’s resignation came as a shock to her players and students in general, but Vice President for Enrollment Dr. John Plotts said he had been aware that she was receiving offers from other schools once she was named the 2012 SCAC Women’s Soccer Coach-of-the-Year.
“She was very kind to keep us informed regarding her interviews,” said Plotts. “We told her on multiple occasions that we hoped she would stay here, but that we would support her if she decided it was better for her career to move elsewhere.”
While Plotts and Mr. Strockbine, the head athletic director for UD, were aware of Corona’s possible resignation, it was unforeseen by her own players.
“No one on the team foresaw Corona’s resignation to be before the 2013 fall season,” said Emily Rogers, a junior defender for the team. “My initial reaction was obviously anger and sadness.”
One of the main concerns over the loss of Corona is the impact that it will have on freshman recruits for the upcoming season.
Mary Quinn, a current sophomore and goalkeeper for the soccer team, expressed this as one of her main concerns.
“We want to make sure we won’t lose any of the recruits we had coming in, and hopefully find more girls that want to come play with us,” Quinn said.
The recruiting process is critical to the team’s success and is usually conducted by Corona herself.
Plotts says he is hopeful that the effects on upcoming recruiting will not be significant.
“We have a supportive recruiting infrastructure in athletics with the establishment of a full-time athletic recruiter this year, so hopefully the recruiting impact will be minimal,” Plotts said.
Spring preparations for the upcoming season could also face some challenges in the wake of the resignation, though some remain optimistic about the upperclassmen’s ability to take the lead in Corona’s absence.
Freshman soccer player Christiana Sulak, believes that the team should have no problem preparing for next season, largely because of the leadership exhibited by the upperclassmen.
“The juniors on the team are already organizing and scheduling the team spring workout practices. To me, that speaks volumes and shows that they want to do well.”
With the absence of a coach, the upcoming seniors will have to step up and lead the team in preparations for next season while waiting for the athletics department to hire a new coach.
Emily Rogers is one such upcoming senior who recognizes the new responsibilities that she now has on her team.
“As the oldest and most experienced, we have a duty to be leaders on the team. Leaders step up when they need to, and that’s what we will do,” said Rogers.
“It’s all about holding yourself and your teammates accountable. At the end of the day, it’s the players that decide how successful they want to be, and we are ready for the challenge.”
Plotts said that the administration has already begun to look for a new coach and had an interview with a “very promising candidate” on Monday.
Though optimistic about the prospects of finding a worthy replacement, Plotts said that Corona will certainly be missed.
“There is great camaraderie among the coaches, so her departure will be felt by them as well. She has participated in a number of school events outside of soccer, so we will all miss her. She was well liked by all,” Plotts said.
“We certainly wish her well and hope that she is a huge success at Austin College … except for when they play us, of course!”