Former Professional Player To Serve As Interim Head Coach During Fall Campaign

The Ferris State University Athletics Department has announced the appointment of Neathan Gibson (pronounced Nee-than) as the school's interim head women's soccer coach for the 2006 campaign. The announcement was made Wednesday (Aug. 2) by FSU Athletics Director Tom Kirinovic.

Neathan Gibson Gibson, who has a wide array of various coaching and playing experience at the international level, will serve on an interim basis until the conclusion of the fall season when a nationwide search for a permanent replacement will begin. He fills the position vacated by the relocation of the school's all-time winningest coach, Melissa Lalonde. Her husband, former Ferris assistant men's ice hockey coach Derek Lalonde, recently accepted a position as an assistant hockey coach at the University of Denver (Colo.).

"At this late of a date with the season fast approaching, I'm excited to be able to name someone as qualified as Neathan to coach our team for the upcoming campaign," Kirinovic said.

Since February of 2005, Gibson has worked as the director of coaching and player development for the Grand Valley Soccer Club based in Kentwood, Mich. While with the organization, Gibson has also held various head coaching duties and led the program's under 17 girls squad to both a Midwest Divisional Championship and Midwest Regional League First Division title in 2005. The club won three state cup boys championships during the 2005 campaign. Gibson also paired with current Central Michiganwomen's soccer head coach Tony DiTucci to guide an Olympic Development Program (ODP) team to a regional championship and national tournament berth this past season.

Besides working with the Grand Valley Soccer Club, Gibson also has ran his own professional soccer training company, Instinct 4 Goal. The company, which was established in 2004, helps players achieve success both on and off the soccer field.

Gibson was the head coach for the West Michigan Edge, a Premier Development League (PDL) squad in the United Soccer League (USL), from November 2003 to November 2004. His duties with the Edge included working as the camp and clinic director, serving as the director of coaching and player development along with responsibilities involving housing and recruiting players.

During his career, Gibson has earned both United States Soccer Federation (USSF) "A" and "B" Coaching Licenses. From February 2002 to November 2003, Gibson was involved in various capacities with the Des Moines (Iowa) Menace organization in the PDL. He was a player, assistant coach, academy coach, camp and clinic director as well as the group's Assistant Academy Technical Director during his tenure.

As a player, Gibson signed his first professional indoor soccer contract with the San Jose Grizzlies of the Continental Indoor Soccer League (CISL) in 1994. He also played outdoors in Malaysia with the Football Association of Sarawak (FAS), which finished as the Malaysian Cup Runner-up in 1995 and 1996. He was recognized as the top league cup goal scorer for Albirex Niigata in Japan during the 1997-98 season as the squad gained a promotion to the league's second division (J2 League). Gibson also played in the Swedish Premier League for IFK Norrkoping in 1997.

From 1998 to 2000, Gibson played two years in the Finnish Premier League for Myllykosken Pallo-47 where he finished second and fifth, respectively, among the league's goal scoring leaders. His squad earned bronze medals for finishing third in the league both years and qualified for the 2000 InterToto Cup against Xamax from Switzerland as Gibson set a new club single-season goal scoring record with 20 markers. Gibson's playing background also includes time with Major League Soccer's (MLS) Colorado Rapids and the USL's Rochester Raging Rhinos in 2001. The Rhinos won the 2001 USL A-League Championship. Gibson coached youth boys and girls squads overseas in both Finland and Japan during his playing career.

Gibson graduated in May 1994 from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., with a bachelor's degree in business administration and an accounting major. During his collegiate playing career for the Knights, Gibson was a first team National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American and claimed Most Valuable Player Award laurels in the 1994 National Collegiate Senior Bowl. He also helped lead Lynn to the NAIA National Championship in 1991. Gibson currently resides in Holland, Mich.

The Bulldogs wrapped up the 2005 campaign with an 11-7 overall record and a fourth place 5-3 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). FSU's 11 victories during the 2005 season tied for the program's most wins in school history. Ferris won 10 of its final 14 outings in 2005 under Lalonde, who concluded her three-year tenure with a 31-21-2 overall record.

FSU is slated to open the 2006 campaign against Southern Indiana Friday, Aug. 25, in the Grand Valley State Tournament at Allendale, Mich. The match is scheduled for a 2 p.m. (EDT) start.