Meridian Star

Sports

February 5, 2013

Massey named EC’s new women’s soccer coach

DECATUR —     After leading Florence High School soccer teams to three consecutive state titles during a highly successful eight-year tenure as head coach, Gray Massey hopes to continue his success on the college level.

    Massey was recently selected women’s soccer coach at East Central Community College. He officially begins his new duties in June 2013.

    Massey, 35, succeeds Kenneth Thompson who has led the ECCC women's program since its inception in 2005. Thompson continues to serve as men’s soccer coach.

    The new Warrior soccer mentor said coaching soccer on the college level has been a goal since he was a teenager. He brings more than just a successful high school career to his new position.

    “I bring energy, excitement and a passion for the game that will translate to our players,” said Massey. “I am looking forward to the challenge as I also keep pushing myself to get better as a coach. I’m looking forward to the upcoming season and recruiting quality student-athletes who are willing to do what is necessary for East Central to have a successful program.”

    ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart said Massey is a welcomed addition to the College’s coaching staff.

    “Gray Massey is an outstanding coach with a proven track record of commitment to both the academic achievement and athletic development of student-athletes under his leadership,” said Dr. Stewart. “As a successful coach of championship programs at Florence High School, he knows what it takes to build and maintain a successful soccer program. The search committee and I are confident he is the right person to elevate women’s soccer at East Central to new heights. We have no doubt that coach Massey will build our women’s soccer program the ‘EC Way — Excellence with Class’ as that embodies Gray as both a person and a coach. We welcome Gray and his family to the East Central family. We are excited that he will be leading the women’s soccer program at East Central Community College.”

    Massey led the Eagles soccer team to two straight state championships, the most recent coming Saturday with a 2-0 victory against West Lauderdale for the MHSAA Class 4A title. The 2012-13 Eagles finished 16-5-3. Massey also coached the boys’ soccer team to the 2011 state championship. He is recognized as only the second high school soccer coach to lead both girls’ and boys’ teams to state soccer titles.

    Massey’s coaching success has not gone unnoticed, as evident by his numerous accolades.

    Honors received as boys’ coach include NFHS Mississippi Coach of the Year in 2012, 2012 All-Star Coach, 2011 Mississippi Association of Coaches Boys’ Soccer Coach of the Year and District Coach of the Year (2006-12).

    In addition to the state title in 2011, his Florence Eagles won South State championships in 2007, 2008 and 2011 and captured district titles from 2006-11. The Soccer Eagles were South State finalists in 2006 and 2010 and North State finalists in 2013.

    As girls’ soccer coach, Massey received District Coach of the Year honors in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. In addition to the two state titles, the Eagles won District titles from 2007-2011 and finished South State finalist in 2007.

    Massey was also selected 2012 Teacher of the Year at Florence High School, where he teaches U.S. History, Introduction to World Geography and Mississippi Studies.

    Massey’s resume includes serving as coach for the Jackson Futbol Club and Aggieland Soccer Club Teams. He has also worked as a goal keeper coach at Texas A&M Women’s Soccer Camp summer camps in College Station.

    Massey, a Brandon native, is a former standout soccer player at Northwest Rankin High School. He received a soccer scholarship to Hinds Community College where the goalkeeper was an All-Region 23 selection in 1996. He continued his success at Mississippi College in Clinton, where in 1998 he was named second team All-Eastern Division in the American Southwest Conference.

    He received a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Mississippi College in May 2001. He expects to complete a master’s degree in coaching education at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, in August 2013.

    He holds National Goalkeeper and National Youth licenses from the United States Soccer Federation. He also holds Advanced National and National Goalkeeper diplomas from the National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America. In addition, he holds a National “B” Coaching License with the United States Soccer Federation.

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