The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

James Armstrong named soccer head coach

Following closely upon the heels of former Mississippi State University’s women’s soccer head coach Tom Anagnost’s resignation, a new head coach has been appointed, according to a press release from the MSU athletic department.

James Armstrong, the sixth head coach in the program’s history, is originally from Yorkshire, England. More recently, he joins the MSU family from Auburn University where he served as the Lady Tigers’ associate head coach.

During Armstrong’s six years at Auburn University, the team made it to the NCAA tournament five times, advanced to the second round four times, the sweet 16 twice and the elite eight once in 2016. During these six years, the Tigers totaled 215 goals, as compared to MSU’s 134.

Additionally, during his coaching stint on the Plains, the team achieved two of the top seven single-season goal totals in program history and garnered multiple individual player distinctions, such as eight all-SEC honors, four SEC All-Freshman selections, and three All-America honors.

The MSU women’s team is coming off unprecedented success in the 2018 season. They advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, earned the first ranking in program history and set school records in shots allowed per game, shots per game and goals allowed.

MSU Athletic Director John Cohen said Armstrong is amply prepared to continue the positive momentum and growth the team has garnered through their hard work over the past several years.

“James is a proven winner not only internationally but in the Southeastern Conference. He has recruited at the highest of levels and understands what it takes to continue the momentum our program has established,” Cohen said. “His aggressive style of play and ability to develop student athletes makes him a perfect fit for Starkville.”

Armstrong said he is honored to be chosen for this new coaching opportunity. He also is very thankful for the preparation for this position he received at Auburn.

“I am extremely blessed, excited and humbled to be considered for this position,” Armstrong said. “I want to thank John Cohen, Jared Benko, Jay Logan and the rest of the search committee for providing this opportunity. I would also like to thank coach Karen Hoppa at Auburn for her mentorship and preparing me for the next step in my career.”

In addition to coaching the Auburn women’s soccer team, Armstrong has coached the U.S. Region III Olympic Development team for the past four years, competing internationally in Argentina and England. Prior to this, he was an assistant with the Olympic Development program and traveled to Germany, Italy and Costa Rica with several players who were chosen to compete at the National team rank, including several who were invited to U.S. U-20 National Team training camps.

Armstrong began his career in the soccer world by serving as equipment manager for the U.S. Soccer Federation. He then worked with the women’s senior national team, which placed third in the 2003 Women’s World Cup. Later, prior to accepting the Auburn coaching position, Armstrong coached at Lonestar Soccer Club in Austin, Texas, advancing to the positions of ECNL head coach and Premier League Girls Director of Coaching. Under his leadership, Lonestar was ranked in the top 20 women’s soccer programs in the nation, and produced more than 200 collegiate-level soccer players.

Armstrong said he and his family are very excited to begin their new adventure in Starkville, and he looks forward to continuing the success the MSU soccer program has established.

“Mississippi State is a unique place, and I and my family were made to feel very welcome by everyone we met,” Armstrong said. “We knew it was the perfect fit for us. I cannot wait to begin this exciting adventure with the players, coaches and support staff to continue the forward momentum that this program has enjoyed recently.”

About the Contributor
Hannah Blankenship
Hannah Blankenship, Former Editor-in-Chief
Hannah Blankenship served as Editor-in-Chief of The Reflector from 2021 to 2022. She also served as the Managing Editor from 2020 to 2021 and as the News Editor from 2019 to 2020. Hannah was named College Journalist of the Year at the 2022 Southeastern Journalism Conference.
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James Armstrong named soccer head coach