By Andrew Preston
When the Lady Trojans soccer team suits up for action next fall, they will be led by a new head coach, Kelsey Fenix.
Previous head coach, Mark Foster, resigned as head coach of the Lady Trojans last week after accepting a job as an assistant coach for the University of South Alabama.
Fenix, the former associate coach at Lipscomb University, was officially announced on Thursday as Foster’s replacement at a university press conference.
“I would like to thank Mark Foster for helping me get this job. I believe in the vision and mission statements of the school and am excited to begin competition,” said Fenix.
Fenix has been surrounded by the game of soccer her entire life. Fenix played collegiately at the University of Kentucky before playing semi-pro soccer.
“(At Trevecca), I want a blue-collar team. I want to improve on last team’s success and add another conference championship for the program,” said Fenix.
According to Athletic Director Mark Elliott there are many ways to find a new head coach at the Division-II level.
“By simply posting the job on (the NCAA website) you get so many applicants, half of them don’t fall into Trevecca’s mission fit. You spend so much more time sorting through applicants than is necessary,” said Elliott.
Elliott had in mind a few candidates before ultimately deciding to choose Fenix as the fifth head coach for the Lady Trojans.
“I wanted to hire a female (for the position),” said Elliott. “I wanted a female because it was the right thing to do. I wasn’t mandated, but for the women’s soccer team I felt going in this direction was the correct choice at this time.”
Elliott noted that Fenix was one of a select few he considered for the position.
“Mark Foster offered (Kelsey Fenix) as his personal recommendation,” said Elliott. “I was so confident we wanted to hire (Kelsey) the morning Mark told me he was planning on leaving I had lunch with Kelsey that afternoon (to discuss her hiring).”
Fenix joined the Lipscomb University’s coaching staff in 2012 and has spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach for the Lady Bisons.
“I see the girls as more than soccer players. I see them as people. I am far more concerned with their growth in their spiritual and personal lives than their growth as a soccer player,” said Fenix Thursday night.
Foster, a former Trojan himself, now, said he didn’t see himself leaving Trevecca anytime soon.
“I wasn’t wanting to leave, I wasn’t planning to leave, but a wonderful opportunity was put in front of me. My wife and I prayed about the decision to leave and we decided it was the best option for my career and my family.”
Foster, a Newcastle, Ireland native, found his way to Trevecca in the fall of 2005 due to one single reason.
“God,” said Foster.
Foster’s former head coach, Jeff Carr, had connections at local Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville which is how Foster formerly was introduced to the Trojans.
“Jeff called me, and at first I didn’t think it was for me, but after praying and through my visit (to Trevecca), I realized this was where God was calling me,” said Foster.
Foster spent 11 years with the Trojans. Upon graduating in the spring of ’08, Foster became a part of the Lady Trojans coaching staff in 2011 before officially being named head coach before the 2013 season.
“I met my wife here (Trevecca). I have been mentored and loved by so many people at Trevecca,” said Foster. “Trevecca was perfect for me. It had a small family atmosphere and I got to know everyone quickly.”
The one thing Foster has taken away from his time at Trevecca are the friendships he’s made.
“When I played I couldn’t tell you how many games we won or lost, but what I do remember are the friendships that I made,” said former Coach Foster. “Those friendships are still there today, so many of my former teammates congratulated me on the move.”
Foster is slated to be inducted into the Trevecca Athletic Hall of Fame later this spring.
“The fact that they are putting me in the Hall of Fame is really the icing on the cake for my time there,” said Foster, “I am beyond humbled to receive that honor.”
Foster has formerly accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of South Alabama as of last Thursday.
“I want to thank everybody, whether it be people I played with or for and all the staff at Trevecca,” said Foster. “I hope Trevecca hasn’t seen the last of me- I am still a Trevecca supporter.”